Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy was born in Scotland in 1955 and comes from a working-class background. Duffy grew up with four little brothers and was born into a Catholic family. She had a very good relationship with her mother, to whom she dedicated the poem 'Premonitions' after her death in 2005.
When Duffy was six years old, her family moved from Glasgow to Stafford. She attended the University of Liverpool and majored in Philosophy. After that, Duffy worked in some freelance jobs until the mid-80s when she decided to become a full-time poet.
Carol Ann Duffy wrote her first poem when she was 11 years old, and after realizing she had talent, her teachers encouraged her to pursue poetry. Currently, Duffy works as a professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She also represents a democratic voice in post-war poetry. Duffy's poems are more accessible and communicate directly with a wider public. The diversity of forms and styles in her poems makes them seem more informal. She writes in free verse and uses a combination of poetic techniques, colloquial and formal English, as well as vulgar and poetic language. Duffy has defined poetry as 'the music of being human' and believes that poetry should be read aloud and carefully to do it justice.
Carol Ann Duffy's first poetry collection, titled 'Standing Female Nude', was published in 1985. Her second collection was published in 1987, followed by 'The Other Country' in 1993. In 'Mean Time', published later, Duffy focuses on more pessimistic themes like broken relationships. She then published 'The World's Wife', 'Feminine Gospels' in 2002, 'Rapture', and her latest collection, 'The Bees', which was published in 2011.
Simon Armitage is a contemporary poet who, like Carol Ann Duffy, represents a democratic voice. Armitage believes that poetry can have a complex relationship with language and will never be mainstream. He obtained a Master's Degree in Psychology at Manchester University and briefly worked as a Probation Officer. Armitage has received many prestigious awards and has published numerous collections. His poems often exhibit a certain restraint regarding sentimentality as he avoids overtly demonstrating and articulating emotions. Armitage explores various themes in his work, including time, family, class, violence, crime, and outsiders. He typically writes poetry in free verse and skillfully blends formal and colloquial registers, as well as using idiomatic expressions.