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The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

The Bees

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Winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2011.

Shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry 2011.

Shortlisted for the Galaxy UK Author of the Year Award 2011.

Reviewed and selected by our poetry expert, Liam Parkin.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s new collection is a diverse range of poetry in both technique and form. Her talent at capturing the essence of moments in time is on full show, and her explorations of war survivors, companions and historical figures are suitably surrounded by thematic investigations into the life of bees. The bees that pervade the anthology - both explicitly and implicitly – contain a variety of interesting and unique motifs; of nature, beauty and a profound awareness of our spiritual encounters in life. As is written, ‘Yes, I think a poem is a spell of kinds/ that keeps things living in a written line’ (Spell), and it is this sentiment that captures the tone of the collection. Duffy contains what is important within her lines, and it is a beautiful reminder of what life can, and should, be about.

Click here to visit the Poetry Book Society page for Reading Groups and to download extracts from the T S Eliot Prize shortlist.

If you like Carol Ann Duffy you might also like to read books by Wendy Cope.


The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

'Carol Ann Duffy is the most humane and accessible poet of our time' Guardian 'Part of Duffy's talent besides her ear for ordinary eloquence, her gorgeous, powerful, throwaway lines, her subtlety is her ventriloquism ...From verbal nuances to mind-expanding imaginative leaps, her words seem freshly plucked from the minds of non-poets that is, she makes it look easy' Observer 'Nobody is ever going to need to be told how to enjoy a Carol Ann Duffy poem' Evening Standard 'Carol Ann Duffy is a poet who covers the stormy waterfront of desire, devotion and despair ...As always, she manages the rare feat of building on traditions, forebears, allusions while stirring and shaking the emotions with muscular, unpretentious force' Independent 'You can't classify Carol Ann as a love poet or a comic poet or a political poet because she is all these things and so much more' Sunday Times

About the Author

Carol Ann Duffy

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. She was appointed Poet Laureate in 2009.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th October 2011


Carol Ann Duffy

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