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.