Carol Ann Duffy
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Titles By Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy has invited fifty of her peers to choose and respond to a poem from the past. With up-and-coming poets alongside more established names, and original poems alongside the new works they have inspired – Paul Muldoon, Vickie Feaver and U. A. Fanthorpe, for example, engage with classic works by Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti – the result is a collection of voices that speak to one another across the centuries.
Teasing, subverting, arguing, echoing and – ultimately – illuminating, Answering Back is a vibrant, fascinating and timeless anthology, compiled by one of the nation’s favourite poets.
‘Intriguing . . . Entertaining and stimulating’ Good Book Guide
‘A starry game of call and answer across poetic generations’ FT Magazine
Carol Ann Duffy is the most humane and accessible poet of our time, and Rapture is essential reading for the broken-hearted of all ages' - Rose Tremain
The effortless virtuosity, directness, drama and humanity of Carol Ann Duffy's verse have made her our most admired and best-loved contemporary poet. Rapture, her seventh collection, is a book-length love-poem, and a moving act of personal testimony; but what sets these poems apart from other treatments of the subject is that Duffy refuses to simplify the contradictions of love, and read its transformations - infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancour, separation and grief - as simply redemptive or destructive.
Rapture is a map of real love, in all its churning complexity. Yet in showing us that a song can be made of even the most painful episodes in our lives, Duffy has accessed a new level of directness that sacrifices nothing in the way of subtlety of expression. These are poems that will find deep rhymes in the experience of most readers, and nowhere has Duffy more eloquently articulated her belief that poetry should speak for us all.
In Feminine Gospels, Carol Ann Duffy draws on the historical, the archetypal, the biblical and the fantastical to create various visions – and revisions – of female identity. Simultaneously stripping women bare and revealing them in all their guises and disguises, these poems tell tall stories as though they were true confessions, and spin modern myths from real women seen in every aspect – as bodies and corpses, writers and workers, shoppers and slimmers, fairytale royals or girls-next-door.
‘Part of Duffy’s talent – besides her ear for ordinary eloquence, her gorgeous, powerful, throwaway lines, her subtlety – is her ventriloquism . . . From verbal nuances to mind-expanding imaginative leaps, her words seem freshly plucked from the minds of non-poets – that is, she makes it look easy’ Charlotte Mendelson, Observer
Carol Ann Duffy has been a bold and original voice in British poetry since the publication of Standing Female Nude in 1985. Since then she has won every major poetry prize in the United Kingdom and sold over one million copies of her books around the world. She was appointed Poet Laureate in 2009.
Her first Collected Poems includes all of the poems from her nine acclaimed volumes of adult poetry - from Standing Female Nude to Ritual Lighting - as well as her much-loved Christmas poems, which celebrate aspects of Christmas: from the charity of King Wenceslas to the famous truce between the Allies and the Germans in the trenches in 1914.
Endlessly varied, wonderfully inventive, and emotionally powerful, the poems in this book showcase Duffy's full poetic range: there are poems written in celebration and in protest; public poems and deeply personal ones; poems that are funny, sexy, heartbroken, wise. Taken together they affirm her belief that 'poetry is the music of being human'.
Collected Poems is both the perfect single-volume introduction for new readers and a glorious opportunity for old friends to celebrate thirty years' work by one of the country's greatest literary talents. It confirms indisputably that 'Carol Ann Duffy is the most humane and accessible poet of our time' (Rose Tremain, Guardian).
Carol Ann Duffy's outstanding first collection, Standing Female Nude, introduced readers to all they would come to love about her poetry. From lovers to wives to war photographers, the poems it contains range from the delicately poignant to the fiercely political, exploring memory, gender, childhood and place. Within it are also some of her best-known poems, including 'Education for Leisure', as well as, of course, the poem from which the collection takes its title.
First published in 1985 to widespread critical acclaim, Standing Female Nude is a work of startling originality and the starting point of the Poet Laureate's dazzling poetic career.
A winner of the Costa Book Award, "beautiful and moving poetry for the real world" (The Guardian)
The Bees is Carol Ann Duffy's first collection of new poems as British poet laureate, and the much anticipated successor to the T. S. Eliot Prize–winning Rapture. After the intimate focus of the earlier book, The Bees finds Duffy using her full poetic range: there are drinking songs, love poems, poems to the weather, and poems of political anger. There are elegies, too, for beloved friends and—most movingly—for the poet's mother. As Duffy's voice rises in this collection, her music intensifies, and every poem patterns itself into song.
Woven into and weaving through the book is its presiding spirit: the bee. Sometimes the bee is Duffy's subject, sometimes it strays into the poem or hovers at its edge—and the reader soon begins to anticipate its appearance. In the end, Duffy's point is clear: the bee symbolizes what we have left of grace in the world, and what is most precious and necessary for us to protect. The Bees is Duffy's clearest affirmation yet of her belief in the poem as "secular prayer," as the means by which we remind ourselves of what is most worthy of our attention and concern, our passion and our praise.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and her friends across the country offer poems in praise of the magic of reading.
In Off the Shelf: A Celebration of Bookshops in Verse, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned a selection of the UK's most loved and lauded poets to each write a poem in celebration of books and bookshops - the worlds they hold, the freedoms they promise, and the memories they evoke. From a basement of forgotten books to the shelves of a cramped Welsh arcade, from the poetry corner of the local bookstore to the last bookshop standing in a post-apocalyptic world, these are poems that pay tribute to all the places that house the stories we treasure.
With poems from Carol Ann Duffy, Scottish Makar Jackie Kay, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, as well as Clive James, Michael Longley, Don Paterson, Patience Agbabi and many more, this beautiful anthology is a heart-warming reminder of how books nourish us, save us, and inspire us.
An inn packed with revellers, shepherds sprawled on the grass, animals in their stables: everything will be changed when a bright star bearing news arrives in the sky.
Carol Ann Duffy’s evocative new poem will transport you to Bethlehem, capturing the sights, the sounds and the atmosphere of this ancient and magical place.
About the AuthorCarol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has written for both children and adults, and her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread and Forward Prizes, the Costa Prize for poetry, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. In 2005 she won the T. S. Eliot Prize for Rapture. She was appointed Poet Laureate in 2009. In 2011 The Bees won the Costa Poetry Award, and in 2012 she won the PEN Pinter Prize.
'A sweet winter light blushed
as Pablo Picasso walked his dog
under the cypress trees
and the bell of the old chapel guessed at the hour.
It was Christmas Eve.'
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy's new Christmas poem, Pablo Picasso's Noel follows the famous painter as he moves through a small town in the south of France on Christmas Eve, drawing the residents and the festive scenes he encounters. Accompanied by his small dog, he brings delight as he sketches wherever he goes. A wonderful, moving new poem capturing both the magic of Christmas and artistic inspiration.
Beautifully illustrated and produced in a gorgeous small format, this is an irresistible festive gift and Christmas stocking must-have for all book lovers.
It is a snowy London day in The Great Winter of 1683. We follow our bold narrator as she explores ‘the town on the Thames’, a thousand tents and dancing fires lit on the frozen water with jubilant residents and lively festive revelry. All is a fete upon the ice as she sees jugglers, dancing bears, palm readers and even a merry wedding. Her journey leads her to meet many new companions with whom to spend a starry night upon the river, where they sleep with no inkling of who will be looking down on them in the morning light . . .
Carol Ann Duffy's Christmas poem, Frost Fair is inspired by the fairs held on the River Thames in London as it froze over in the uncommonly cold winters of the Little Ice Age. This delightful, moving poem captures the inventiveness of a great city and the drama of winter. Beautifully illustrated by David De Las Heras, Frost Fair is an irresistible read for our festive season.
Carol Ann Duffy's beautiful anthology features an eclectic mix of poems that chart human fascination with the moon across the centuries and around the world.
Carol Ann Duffy on To the Moon:
'Editing Answering Back, in which living poets replied to poems from the past, I was astonished to see how many of the poems, old and new, referred to the moon. I then started to keep a record of such references, and from my notebook, I see that in one morning alone I came across no fewer than nine poems, from the likes of Coleridge, Graves, Rosetti and Rowe - and it was this selection that initially inspired To the Moon.
There's something incredibly moving, and electrifying, to read a poem from the Chinese Book of Odes, written around 500 BC, and to feel both our distance from and our closeness to the past, and the Moon itself:
I climbed the hill just as the new moon showed,
I saw him coming on the southern road.
My heart lays down its load.
In collecting together poems such as these - poems that span continents and centuries - To the Moon shows what it is to be human; to love, to lose, to dream and to hope. The poems it contains give us a real and profound sense of our time on this planet, and the pleasures they offer are - like space itself - infinite.'
‘Carol Ann Duffy is the most humane and accessible poet of our time’ - Guardian
In this stunning anthology of ninety nine modern and classic poems, Carol Ann Duffy delves into the powerful and unique bond between parent and child. Empty Nest contemplates growing old, the love of a parent, the everyday of family life, as well as poems that explore darker terrains – grief, loss and estrangement. Some of our favourite poets are collected here, such as Elizabeth Bishop, Jackie Kay, Simon Armitage, Shakespeare, Imtiaz Dharker, Seamus Heaney and Don Paterson.
These poems are by turns wry, moving, profound, funny, melancholic and wise; they will console and comfort those suddenly facing a house that may be much cleaner, but is also much quieter, than it once was. There is something here for every reader to treasure.
‘Wonderful . . . a poet alert to every sound and shape of language’ - Telegraph