Thursday, May 7, 2009

After Shocks contributor Carol Ann Duffy Named Poet Laureate of Great Britain

After Shocks contributor Carol Ann Duffy was named the 22nd Poet Laureate of Great Britain last week. Duffy succeeds Andrew Motion. She is the first woman named poet laureate in the 341-year history of the position.

Duffy's poem in After Shocks was "Mrs. Lazarus" from her collection The World's Wife (Picador, 1999). The collection is themed, containing poems from the perspective of the women behind the famous men in history and examines themes of sexism, equality, bereavement and birth.

I don't have permission to reprint "Mrs. Lazarus" here, but you may find in on page 46 of After Shocks where it is reprinted with the publisher's permission.

The poem from The World's Wife most often quoted in all the news stories about Duffy's appointment, and thereby probably fair game to reprint here, is this one:

Mrs. Darwin

7 April 1852
Went to the Zoo
I said to him - Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

The World's Wife is an excellent collection. Go get it as well as any of her other collections, which are excellent. She is among the world's greatest living poets.

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