Carol Ann Duffy Sincerity
The effortless virtuosity, directness, drama and humanity of Carol Ann Duffy’s verse have made her a hugely admired and loved contemporary poet. Sincerity is Duffy’s last collection of poems to be published during her time as Poet Laureate, and her first since the Costa Award-winning The Bees. Time and its passage are at the heart of this collection, which gazes out from the autumn of life. There are moving elegies here for the departed, whether that be children who have flown the nest, a way of life, the poet’s own parents or her own youth. As Duffy dramatizes scenes from childhood, adolescence and adulthood, she finds moments of grace or consolation in memory, love and language amid the complexities of life.
This collection finds a poet at the height of her powers using her full poetic range (with forms here including the sestina and kennings), casting her eye both inwards, in poems of a deeply personal nature, and yet also outwards, taking stock of a world in turmoil. In some of her most radical work yet, we see Duffy satirise and unpick the deception and dishonesty at the heart of our political situation, in a rallying cry that builds steadily through the collection, to a powerful closing poem in a defence of the necessity of a reclamation of the virtue of sincerity.
Sincerity, at once intimate and public, is a work of great power from one of our most cherished and humane poets.
Carol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has written for both children and adults, and her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread, Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes, the PEN Pinter Prize, and the Lannan and E.M. Forster Prize in America. She was appointed Poet Laureate in 2009. Her collections include The World’s Wife, Love Poems and Rapture. The Bees won the Costa Poetry Award.
Saturday 16th November, 7.00pm
Thomas Hardye School Theatre