New Selected Poems by Carol Ann Duffy draws together a body of work spanning from 1985 to 2004. It includes poems from six major collections, from Standing Female Nude to Feminine Gospels, and a handful of other poems, collected here for the first time. It shows a writer who hit the ground running, emerging into the world a fully formed and utterly distinctive voice, and who can be counted among the foremost of the poets of any generation.
From the outset, the world is her oyster. Carol Ann Duffy's curiosity takes her across continents, and into the minds of psychopaths, babies, queens and giggling schoolgirls with equal relish. It is a strange yet disarmingly familiar world, shot with mythic, fabulous and popular histories. Language is turned inside out and upside down, its riches and exoticism found in the demotic of the everyday as much as in foreign parts. She has a quicksilver intelligence that can move from ribald mimicry one moment to an intensely tough and affecting lyricism the next. This physical, visceral poetry gives true meaning to the concept of a body of work, and will provide a perfect introduction to new readers and a glorious sum of parts to old acquaintances.