When Carol Ann Duffy was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 2009, she became the first woman, the first Scot and the first openly LGBTQI-identifying person to hold this position in its almost 350 year history. Her poetry, including the collections The World’s Wife and Rapture have won her praise and legions of fans for her lyricism and technical adroitness. In Australia for her very first Sydney Writers’ Festival appearance, Carol Ann talks to ABC RN’s Sarah Kanowski about her life, her work and why she likes ‘to use simple words but in a complicated way.’

Carol Ann Duffy (International)

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Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish poet and playwright. She was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 2009 and was the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly LGBTQI-identifying person to hold this position in its almost 350 year history. She is the creative director and professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.  Duffy has written for all ages, and her poetry has received awards including the Whitbread, Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and the Lannan and the E. M. Forster Prize. Her works include The World’s Wife and Rapture. Her 2011 collection, The Bees, won the Costa Poetry Award, and in 2012 she won the PEN Pinter Prize. Her recent theatre work includes Everyman. Duffy received a DBE in the 2015 New Year Honours list for services to poetry.

Sarah Kanowski (Australian)

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Sarah Kanowski is a presenter of the Books and Arts program on ABC RN. She has a Masters degree in English studies from Oxford University.