Friday, 1 May 2009

Breaking news....

It's been one of the worst-kept secrets in the UK for the last week or so, but Carol Ann Duffy has just been named the new Poet Laureate, the first woman and indeed the first Scot to get the job.

Not sure if there's really any truth in the story about her being passed over last time, but I don't think there'll be too much quibbling with the choice this time around. She is one of the relatively few current poets to be both popular and critically well thought-of, so there's little chance of the decision to choose a woman being dismissed as tokenism.

I've got mixed feelings about her poetry, liking some of it a lot, and disliking some of it equally (on the whole I prefer her earlier collections), but I think she'll make an excellent public advocate of poetry, which it seems to me is the main justification for maintaining the role these days. Andrew Motion did that part of the job very well, and I think CAD will maintain that momentum.

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