Carol Ann Duffy: Poet for Our Times by Jane Dowson

By Jane Dowson

This is the one monograph to contemplate the total thirty-year profession, guides, and effect of Britain's first woman poet laureate. It outlines her influence on developments in modern poetry and establishes what we suggest by way of ‘Duffyesque’ matters and strategies. Discussions of her writing and actions end up how she has championed the relevance of poetry to all parts of latest tradition and to the lifetime of each individual. person chapters talk about the lyrics of ‘love, loss, and longing’; the socially encouraged poems concerning the Eighties; the female-centred volumes and poems; the connection among poetry and public existence; and poetry and formative years and written for kids. The publication may still whet the urge for food of readers who recognize little of Duffy’s paintings to determine extra, whereas delivering scholars and students with an in-depth research of the poems of their contexts. It attracts on a variety of severe works and contains an in depth checklist of extra reading.

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I am so proud to number myself among them’ (Duffy, ‘Sisters in Poetry’ 2009). Putting her energy where her principle is, in 2010 Duffy initiated the biennial Dorothy Wordsworth Festival, a three-day showcase of women’s POET FOR OUR TIMES 25 poetry. In 2012, the lead names, Gillian Clarke, Liz Lochhead, and Duffy, were the National Poets of Wales, Scotland, and the UK respectively. As Duffy wrote in her warm Foreword to Lochhead’s Selected Poems, her first volume, Memo for Spring, had ‘blossomed out into the very male landscape of Scottish poetry and somehow managed to make that landscape female’ (Lochhead 2011: ix).

Duffy consistently proves that poetic language is more than its words and it exploits non-verbal signifying processes to reconstruct identities through rearranging language norms. Michelis and Rowland dub her a ‘naughty poet’ (2003: 1) for her confident cheeky rhymes and Brian Caraher parallels the literary transgressions of Duffy and Medbh McGuckian in their rejuvenation of the lyric ‘line’ (2011). Kinnahan outlines how ‘Duffy’s seemingly non-experimental adherence to poetic conventions both reaches an audience and enacts deeply unsettling linguistic experiments.

Horner labels Duffy ‘a feminist postmodernist writer’ (2003: 99) and Thomas teases out her frequent 30 CAROL ANN DUFFY tussle with yearning for a pre- or supra-linguistic realm while unable to conceive a self outside language, especially in her earlier work (2003: 122). Duffy consistently proves that poetic language is more than its words and it exploits non-verbal signifying processes to reconstruct identities through rearranging language norms. Michelis and Rowland dub her a ‘naughty poet’ (2003: 1) for her confident cheeky rhymes and Brian Caraher parallels the literary transgressions of Duffy and Medbh McGuckian in their rejuvenation of the lyric ‘line’ (2011).

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