First published 2005
Chosen by Cat,
"I thought it was time we read some Carol Ann Duffy: a queer poet who has won many awards and is a significant literary figure. Appointed in 2009 she is the first openly LGBT, and the first female, Poet Laureate in 400 years of the post. Her work is modern, relatable and accessible; including to those of us who don't regularly read poetry. I heard her read and discuss her work at a literary festival years ago and was mesmerised. I've chosen her collection "Rapture", which can be read like a novel as it tells the story of a love affair from beginning to end. It won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2005 and was published after the end of her relationship with Jackie Kay (author of Trumpet, a novel we recently read and rated very highly!)
"Following recent discussions where we recognised the importance of understanding the historical context of women writing, I'd like to recommend a little further reading for those interested. A Room of One's Own is an essay by Virginia Woolf, based on lectures she gave in 1928 on 'women and fiction'. It is meandering in places, as is her style, but powerful. She describes the cultural factors that have influenced and restricted writing by women over time. It helps us further understand the significance of Carol Ann Duffy's achievements."