Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate reads alongside Theo Dorgan, one of Ireland’s best-known poets.
The effortless virtuosity, directness, drama and humanity of Carol Ann Duffy’s verse have made her Britain’s most admired and best-loved contemporary poet.
Sincerity is Duffy’s final collection of poems as Poet Laureate, and the much-anticipated successor to the Costa Award-winning The Bees. Time and its passage are at the heart of this reflective work, which gazes out from the autumn of life. There are moving elegies here for what has departed; whether that be children who have flown the nest, a way of life, literary luminaries, past loves, lost parents or our 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, 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 current political situation. A rallying cry builds steadily through the book culminating in a moving closing ode to the virtue of sincerity.
A fitting culmination to her time as a Poet Laureate, this collection, at once intimate and public, is a work of great power from one of Britain’s 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 and Forward Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. In 2005, she won the T. S. Eliot Prize for Rapture. In 2009, she was appointed Poet Laureate.
Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953. He is a poet, prose writer, documentary screenwriter, editor, translator and broadcaster. Dedalus reissued his first two poetry collections, The Ordinary House of Love (1991) and Rosa Mundi (1995) in a single volume, What This Earth Cost Us, in 2008. His most recent collections are Greek (2010) and Nine Bright Shiners (2014). Songs of Earth and Light, his versions from the Slovenian of Barbara Korun, appeared in 2005 (Southword Editions), and his translation of the poems of Maram Al Masri’s Barefoot Souls appeared in 2015. He has also published a selected poems in Italian, La Case ai Margini del Mundo, (Moby Dick, 1999), and a Spanish translation of his long poem Sappho’s Daughter La Hija de Safo, (Poesía Hiperión, 2001).
Dorgan’s prose account of a transatlantic crossing under sail, Sailing For Home, was published by Penguin Ireland in 2004 and reissued by Dedalus in 2010. His libretto Jason And The Argonauts, to music by Howard Goodall, was commissioned by and premiered at The Royal Albert Hall, London in 2004. A further prose book, Time On The Ocean, A Voyage from Cape Horn to Cape Town, was published by New Island in 2010.
A former Director of Poetry Ireland, he has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television. He was presenter of Poetry Now on RTÉ Radio 1, and later presented RTÉ’s TV books programme, Imprint. His awards include the Listowel Prize for Poetry, 1992, and The O’Shaughnessy Prize For Irish Poetry 2010. A member of Aosdána, he served on The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon 2003 -2008. He lives in Dublin.
Carol Ann Duffy is considered a top poet. But she deserves better. She deserves to outsell most of the novelists on your shelf ’ Observer