In 2009 Carol Ann Duffy became the first female Poet Laureate to much public acclaim. This study looks at Duffy’s work from her early development and involvement with the Liverpool poets in the 1970s, through to her most recent collection. It concentrates on the way in which Duffy develops her use of the dramatic monologue and the love poem and traces her interest in surrealism and a tradition of European modernism. While acknowledging the importance of her popular appeal the book also makes a case for Duffy as a serious and important poet who engages with key issues of gender and identity in innovative and important ways. Deryn Rees-Jones places Duffy at the forefront of a change in poetry in Britain, and sees her as a writer who both heralds and opens up the way for those writing after her.
Deryn Rees-Jones' books include 'The Memory Tray' (Seren, 1995), shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; 'Signs Round a Dead Body' (Seren, 1998); 'Quiver' (Seren, 2004); 'Burying the Wren' (2012), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize; and, with Charlotte Hodes, 'And You, Helen' (Seren, 2014). 'What It's Like to Be Alive: Selected Poems' (Seren, 2016) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.
In 2004 she was named as one of Mslexia’s ‘top ten’ women poets of the decade, and one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation poets. In 2010 she received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors. She is also the author of a groundbreaking critical study of women's poetry, 'Consorting with Angels' (Bloodaxe, 2005), which was published alongside her accompanying anthology 'Modern Women Poets' (Bloodaxe, 2005). Her new book of poems, 'Erato', is due from Seren in 2019, and a monograph on the work of Portuguese artist Paula Rego is forthcoming from Thames and Hudson. She currently holds a Major Leverhulme Fellowship, and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Liverpool.