Carol Ann Duffy: Readings

Carol Ann Duffy is Creative Director of The Writing School at MMU. Her most recent collection was SINCERITY (Picador, 2019) and she has published many collections for both adults and children. 

In these special recordings for E: SF, Carol Ann is joined by several eminent and influential poets to share readings from Manchester Metropolitan’s Write Where You Are Now, a project encompassing new poems about the recent days past and the weeks ahead. The poets featured here were invited to write directly about the Coronavirus pandemic or about the personal situation they find themselves in right now. Thus they meditate on a broad range of themes, including loss and age, sightings of foxes, found things and experiences of the pandemic and lockdown. ​

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Carol Ann Duffy is Creative Director of The Writing School at MMU. Her most recent collection was SINCERITY (Picador, 2019) and she has published many collections for both adults and children.

Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video film maker. Awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, 2014, her six collections include Over the Moon and her latest, Luck Is the Hook. Her poems have been featured widely on radio and television, as well as the London Underground and Mumbai buses.

Ian McMillan is a Writer, performer and broadcaster; he presents the language show The Verb on BBC Radio 3, his new Selected Poems To Fold The Evening Star is out now from Carcanet, and he’s currently working with Doncaster Community Arts on producing packs of writing games and framework poems to be delivered to vulnerable people as the Coronavirus crisis continues.

Gillian Clarke, was National Poet of Wales 2008-2016. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010. Her most recent work is Selected Poems (Picador, 2016), Zoology (Carcanet, 2017), and her version of the 7th century Welsh poem, Y Gododdin (Faber, 2021).

Liz Lochhead is a poet and playwright based in Glasgow. She was born in Motherwell in December 1947 and studied Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1970. In 1972 her first collection of poems was somewhat of a poetry best-seller – 5,000 copies eventually, mainly in Scotland. In the early eighties her first plays were produced and she now has more than a score to her name, both original plays and many adaptations/translations from world classics from Euripides to Moliere. She served as the Makar, or National Poet of Scotland, from 2011 to 2016 and received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2015. Her last collection of poems was 2016’s “Fugitive Colours”.

‘Unbecoming Maramot’

Romalyn Ante was born in 1989 in Lipa Batangas, Philippines. She was 16 years old when her mother – a nurse in the NHS – brought the family to the UK. She is the winner of the Poetry London Clore Prize 2018, joint-winner of the Manchester Poetry Prize 2017, and the recipient of the Platinum Poetry in Creative Future Literary Awards 2017. Her debut collection, Antiemetic for Homesickness, will come out with Chatto & Windus in July.

‘Mrs Epidemiologist’

Moira Egan is an American poet who lives in Rome. She has published five books in the U.S. and three in Italy (most recently, Synæsthesium, 2017, and Olfactorium, 2018). With her husband, the epidemiologist/translator Damiano Abeni, she has translated numerous volumes of poetry and prose into Italian. She teaches Creative Writing and English at St. Stephen’s School, Rome.

‘Garden Poem’

Andrew McMillan’s award winning collections of poetry are physical (Guardian First Book Award, Somerset Maugham Award) and playtime (Polari Prize). He is senior lecturer in Creative writing in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met.​


Adam O’Riordan was born in Manchester in 1982 and read English at Oxford University. In 2008 O’Riordan became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection In the Flesh (Chatto and Windus) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. He is Academic Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

‘Boots’; ‘By Degrees’; ‘The Virus at my Window’

David Tait is a graduate of The Writing School at MMU. His poetry collections include The AQI (shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize) and Self-Portrait with The Happiness (recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize). He lives in Shanghai, where he works as a teacher trainer.

‘Days of the Blackbird’

The Anglo-Italian writer and designer Jane Weir grew up in Manchester. She was joint winner of the Jackson Dawson Award for poetry (2003). Her poetry has been widely published – Out of Fashion (Faber: 2005), Answering Back (Picador: 2007), The Forward Book of Poetry: (2006, 2008). The innovative poetic biographies, Walking the Block (2008) and Spine (2012) are preoccupied with the creative lives of two Modernist textile designers and handblock printers, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher. Her poetry collections are The Way I Dressed During the Revolution (2005), Before Playing Romeo (2007), Anna Magnani, eat with me (2016) and Stricken Fields (2020). Her work is recognised in literary and design awards, published in audio format by the Poetry Archive and studied in secondary and higher education. Jane Weir lives and works in Derbyshire.