Carol Ann Duffy has been announced as the first female poet laureate and a lesbian one at that. I would have been pleased with either Duffy or Simon Armitage who were tipped as front runners (and have to confess to a slight preference for Armitage as he was the first poet I heard and felt relevant). A quick search of wikipedia indicates Duffy was almost appointed in 1999 but Tony Blair had been worried about appointing a homosexual to the role. Of her status as a ‘lesbian poet’ Duffy apparently said: “I’m not a lesbian poet, whatever that is. If I am a lesbian icon and a role model, that’s great, but if it is a word that is used to reduce me, then you have to ask why someone would want to reduce me? I never think about it. I don’t care about it. I define myself as a poet and as a mother – that’s all.”

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