Duffy Named First Female Poet Laureate

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 6:58 PM CDT
Poet and writer Carol Ann Duffy seen at John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, Friday, May 1, 2009, after she was awarded the role of national poet laureate.   (AP Photo/Paul Thomas)
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(Newser) – Carol Ann Duffy and her 13-year-old daughter agreed it was time for a woman poet laureate in Britain, the Times of London reports. Widely expected to accept the post, Duffy, 53, agreed today to take over from incumbent Andrew Motion in the name of "great women poets ... like Alice Oswald," she said. “My only worry was what my daughter thought about it. She said, ‘Yes, Mummy. There has never been a woman poet laureate’.”

A favorite to accept the laureateship 10 years ago, the bestselling writer resisted because she was a lesbian mother in a relationship, the Guardian reports. But she said she remains "a very private person" who will "fiercely protect my privacy and my daughter." She also plans to give her yearly £5,750 stipend to a poetry society, but wants her 600 sherry bottles up front—Motion still hasn't received his.