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Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE

Scottish born poet Carol Ann Duffy has played a major role in bringing poetry to the masses with her innovative and appealing use of the English Language. Moving to Stafford at the age of five, Carol Ann was the eldest of five children and attended Stafford Girls High School before reading philosophy at Liverpool University.

A passionate reader from an early age, Carol Ann always wanted to be a writer and had her first book published in 1974 while still at high school consisting of a pamphlet of poems.

She has since gone on to release numerous award winning works including Standing Female Nude (1985), winner of the Scottish Arts Council award, and Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award and the Forward Poetry prize, while also being recognised by the Society of Authors in 1992 with the prestigious Cholmondeley Award.

Carol Ann has become a household name with GCSE and A level English Literature students throughout the country. John Mullan wrote in The Guardian “Over the past decade, Carol Ann Duffy has been the most popular living poet in Britain. There are aspects of her poetry that appeal to English teachers for good practical reasons. Her poems are frequently humorous; they use clear schemes of rhyme and metre; they can be satisfactorily decoded by the diligent close reader.”

Her poems are the voicepiece for an extraordinary number of contemporary characters including a fairground psychopath, a literary biographer, a newborn baby, disinherited native Americans, and even a ventriloquist’s dummy, with many reflecting on time, change, and loss.

An acclaimed playwright, her dramatical productions include Take My Husband (1982), Cavern of Dreams (1984), Little Women, Big Boys (1986) Loss (1986) and Casanova (2007).

Carol Ann’s work 'The Manchester Carols', a suite of new carols was performed again at the Royal Northern College of Music and at Blackburn Cathedral in December 2008.

For her work in poetry, she was awarded a OBE in 1995, a CBE in 2002 and a DBE in 2015.

Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE was appointed Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2019, the first woman poet, Scottish-born poet and LGBT poet to hold the position.

Photo of Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE

Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE was bestowed the award in 2008

I’m so happy to receive this honour from my childhood home town and delighted to accept it in memory of my late mother, May Duffy, who would have been so proud.

Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE