UK Set to Name First Female Poet Laureate

Blair had passed Duffy over fearing public wouldn't accept lesbian
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2009 2:20 PM CDT
Valerie Eliot poses with Carol Ann Duffy, left, after presenting Duffy with the the TS Eliot Prize 2006, a literary prize awarded by the Poetry Book Society for the best poetry book published in 2005.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The UK looks set to honor a woman as poet for the first time, the Independent reports, and an openly gay woman at that. At 53, Carol Ann Duffy is Great Britain’s most widely read poet, and might’ve already been named poet laureate but for former PM Tony Blair, who thought that a lesbian wouldn’t be accepted by Middle England.

Duffy has the opportunity to be Britain’s top bard because Andrew Motion, the current laureate, has decided to break from the position’s tradition of a life term and relinquish the title after only 10 years. “She’s an absolutely wonderful writer and I think that because no woman has had the role, having Carol would give the whole thing a great glamor and appeal,” Motion said of Duffy. Click the link to read a Duffy poem.