Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 16:06 UK

Duffy reacts to new Laureate post

Carol Ann Duffy
Duffy will be following in the footsteps of Tennyson and Wordsworth

Carol Ann Duffy has been appointed as Poet Laureate. She is the first woman, the first Scot and the first openly gay poet to take the post.

In her first press conference as Laureate at the John Rylands University Library, in Manchester, she talked about her hopes for the new role.



Poetry matters to people in this country, poetry is a place we can go to for comfort, celebration, when we're in love, when we're bereaved and sometimes for events that happen to us as a nation.

Poetry comes from the imagination, from memories, from experience, from events both personal and public so I will be following the truth of that and I will write whatever needs to be written.


The ministry of culture and the palace made it very clear, particularly the palace, that there is no expectation or requirement at all to write royal poems and the same with government people.

I don't have to write anything about anything if I don't want to.
Like all the poets, I would only ever write poems that are truthful, from an authentic source, whether that's private or public.

It's not a job. I have been able to relinquish myself from any financial commitment by giving the money to the Poetry Society to establish a prize so I'll just continue reading my poems and writing my poems as I always have.

People know who I am, they know my life and they know that I'm truthful and I can only be myself, be true to myself, and be seen to live my life as myself and as a vocational poet. "I think we've all grown up a lot over the past 10 years.

"Sexuality is something that is celebrated now we have civil partnerships and it's fantastic that I'm an openly gay writer, and anyone here or watching the interviews who feels shy or uncomfortable about their sexuality should celebrate and be confident and be happy.

It's a lovely, ordinary, normal thing.

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