Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 12:01 UK

Nairn festival signs up first female poet laureate

Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy is among the festival's guest writers

Organisers of a Scottish books festival are claiming a coup in arranging an appearance by Britain's first female poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Duffy's most recent works have included a poem about footballer David Beckham injuring an ankle.

The ruptured achilles tendon has ruled the former England captain out of the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Duffy will join other guest writers at Nairn Book and Arts Festival next month.

Others appearing include Christopher Brookmyre, John Burnside, Andrew O'Hagan, A L Kennedy, Sir John Lister-Kaye, Denise Mina and Allan Guthrie.

Subjects covered will include travel, history, gardening, battlefield archaeology and the environment.

The festival in the seaside town near Inverness will also feature workshops and an arts exhibition.

Organisers said securing Duffy's appearance was a "major coup".

Chairman John Fyfe said: "This year there is more variety than ever with top rate writers, theatre, art exhibitions, workshops, concerts, a musical celebration of whisky and first class stand-up comedy from Fred MacAulay.

"And for the first time we have a film programme.

"The festival goes from strength to strength thanks to the support of the local community."



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Laureate pens Beckham Achilles ode
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