Thursday, July 17, 2008

Representative Poetry

Hats off to the Library of Congress for selecting Kay Ryan as the next Poet Laureate. Not only is she a spare, elegant poet in these wordy times, but she is also a) female and b) an out lesbian.

No such luck here in the UK, where Carol Ann Duffy was mooted as Poet Laureate in 1998, but cast aside due to the unsavoury fact of her high profile lesbian relationship with another writer. Articles earlier this year (no, I can't be bothered to dig them out) implied that she might be in the running post-Motion, now that the relationship is over.

It's not often these days that the US pulls ahead of the UK in terms of rights & representation (perhaps not since Auden and Thom Gunn emigrated in search of pastures queer) -- it's about time the UK started celebrating (or at least recognising) the amazing contribution that lesbian, gay, bi and trans writers have made and are making to our literature.

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