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Carol Ann Duffy at Royal Exchange Theatre

The Poet Laureate is one of the writers featured in this new series of readings at the Royal Exchange

Published on May 12th 2010.


Carol Ann Duffy at Royal Exchange Theatre

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be reading her work at the Royal Exchange Theatre on Tuesday 25 May. She's appearing at the first outing of a new series of writing events organised by Manchester Metropolitan University's writing school and the Royal Exchange.

There aren't many bards who can justify a venue as big and grand as this one (a walk-in wardrobe would be roomy enough for most poetry readings) which makes you wonder who's coming up at future Word events.

As the first female Poet Laureate and a long time stalwart of the high school curriculum, she's one of the few contemporary poets who could be described as 'high profile' and even 'mainstream'. There aren't many bards who can justify a venue as big and grand as this one (a walk-in wardrobe would be roomy enough for most poetry readings) which makes you wonder who's coming up at future Word events.

This first event also features poet Robin Robertson. He's not a household name like Duffy but his poetic credentials are nonetheless impressive with a long list of awards following his name, including three Forward Prizes. He released his fourth collection of work, The Wrecking Light, this year. Described as bleakly lyrical, horrific, and sometimes shocking, it could have the audience scrambling for interval drinks with shaky hands.

The Poet Laureate herself will be reading a selection from her ever-growing body of work. The pressure and exposure of her heavyweight job title hasn't left her struggling with writer's block. In contrast, she's been firing off verses likes nobody's business in response to some of the more notable news events of 2010. In recent months, David Beckham's career-wrecking injury inspired her poem 'Achilles'. The volcanic ash cloud was the subject of her latest poem, 'Silver Lining'.

The evening will be compered by winner of the Whitbread Prize for Poetry Michael Symmons Roberts, who alongside Duffy teaches poetry writing at MMU. So you'll get a trio of top poets for a fiver – it sounds like this first Word event could be the start of something good.

Word: Robin Robertson with Carol Ann Duffy, Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, Tuesday 25 May, 7pm, £5 (£3.50), running time: approx one hour followed by a book signing in the Great Hall, 0161 833 9833, www.royalexchange.co.uk

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