Writer Carol Ann Duffy has been named the new poet laureate of Britain, becoming the first woman and first Scot (and one with Irish roots) to ever hold the position in the 341-history of the prestigious post.
Duffy, 53, a Glasgow-born woman with an Irish heritage, follows in the footsteps of literary greats such as Williams Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson in becoming the British government-appointed poet.
Duffy will be expected to compose write poems for royal weddings, funerals and other state occasions.
The poet and playwright reportedly thought “long and hard” before taking up the post, but publicly stated: "I'm very honored and humbled to become Poet Laureate, not only when I think of some of the great poets who have occupied the post since the 17th century, but when I think of some of the wonderful poets writing now.”
Duffy is a popular poet in Britain, and is known for her witty, accessible poems that give life to a range of contemporary characters exploring both fantasy and their every day experiences. She has published more than 30 books, including plays, poems and children’s stories.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Duffy "a truly brilliant modern poet who has stretched our imaginations by putting the whole range of human experiences into lines that capture the emotions perfectly."
Duffy succeeds Andrew Motion, who has just completed his 10-year term.
Duffy is going to give the annual salary of about £
Traditionally, the poet laureate is also given a “butt of sack,” or about 600 bottles' worth of sherry, donated by the Sherry Institute of Spain.
Duffy is set on collecting this part of the prize, saying: “Andrew hasn't had his yet so I've asked for mine up front.”