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Jubilee Lines by Carol Ann Duffy

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Reviewed and selected by our poetry expert, Liam Parkin.

As a prominent British literary figure, and the first female poet laureate, it is only fitting that Carol Ann Duffy undertook the task of encapsulating sixty years of the Queen’s reign into sixty poets, each reflecting on the culture and history that these six decades have carried with them. As Duffy writes, these poems are a ‘mix of the personal and the public, the political and the poetic’, all with a contemporary retrospective voice of a radically changing half-century. Encompassing both public and private events, this anthology is less about chronicling history, and more about the power an individual’s history. With relatively new and old poets, like Andrew Motion, Simon Armitage and Helen Mort, this collection’s strength is held together by its diverse, but shared memory of a monumental politically and poetically charged sixty years.

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


Jubilee Lines by Carol Ann Duffy

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy brings together a dazzling array of contemporary poets (sixty in fact) to write about each of the sixty years of 'Her Majesty's' reign. Celebrated writers as Simon Armitage, Gillian Clarke, Wendy Cope, Geoffrey Hill, Jackie Kay, Michael Longley, Andrew Motion, Don Paterson, and Jo Shapcott, alongside some of the newest young talent around - address a moment or event from their chosen year, be it of personal or political significance or both. Through a series of specially commissioned poems, Jubilee Lines offers a unique portrayal of the country and times in which we have lived since 1952, culminating in an essential portrait of today: the way we speak, the way we chronicle, the way we love and fight, and the way we honour and remember. Brilliantly introduced and edited by Carol Ann Duffy, Jubilee Lines is an unforgettable commemoration: not only a monarch's reign but of a way of living for generations of her people.

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

3rd May 2012


Carol Ann Duffy

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Faber & Faber


160 pages


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