This volume draws together a body of work spanning the last twenty years. It includes poems from six major collections, from "Standing Female Nude" (1985) to "Feminine Gospels" (2002), and a handful of 'other poems', collected here for the first time. It shows a writer who hit the ground running, emerging into the world a fully formed and utterly distinctive voice, and who, twenty years later, can be counted among the foremost of the poets of any generation. From the outset, the world is her oyster. Carol Ann Duffy's curiosity takes her across continents, and into the minds of psychopaths, babies, queens and giggling schoolgirls with equal relish. It is a strange yet disarmingly familiar world, shot with mythic, fabulous and popular histories. Language is turned inside out and upside down, its riches and exoticism found in the demotic of the everyday as much as in foreign parts. She has a quicksilver intelligence that can move from ribald mimicry one moment to an intensely tough and affecting lyricism the next.
This physical, visceral poetry gives true meaning to the concept of a body of work, and will provide a perfect introduction to new readers and a glorious sum of parts to old acquaintances.
Carol 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, 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.