Poet Carol Ann Duffy wins PEN Pinter Prize
English PEN has announced the winner of 2012 Pen Pinter Prize. The fourth recipient of the award poet Carol Ann Duffy is rewarded for outstanding contribution to literature and her commentary on contemporary events.
Monday, 16 July 2012, by HRH London, based on English PEN and the Telegraph information.
Carol Ann Duffy, below, will be presented with the prize at a public event at the British Library on 8 October 2012, at which she will read a selection of her poetry, including several new poems. A very limited edition booklet will be published by Faber and Faber and available to the audience at the event.
Rewarded for commentary on contemporary
Carol Ann Duffy was selected by judges Sir David Hare, Dame Margaret Drabble, Lord Melvyn Bragg, Lady Antonia Fraser and President of English PEN, Gillian Slovo.
"Carol Ann Duffy is a great poet," said Lady Antonia Fraser, the widow of Harold Pinter and one of the judges. She lauded her ability "to make important points through her work".
"She comments on contemporary events directly in a way we do not believe a Poet Laureate has done before," she added.
The poet herself said: “I am hugely honoured and moved to receive an award which commemorates one of the greatest English writers of the 20th Century”.
Poet praises texting and social networks
The Telegraph reminds that after she was appointed the first female Laureate in 2009, Duffy published "Politics", an attack on the fading Labour Government of the time, and she has also written poems such as "Atlas", about climate change and one in memory of Stephen Lawrence.
When her poem "Education for Leisure" was taken off the school syllabus over fears it condoned knife crime she responded with a biting poem, "Mrs Schofield's GCSE". She has also praised texting and social networks like Facebook for encouraging poetic skills.
Her most recent collection, The Bees, was the winner of the 2011 Costa Poetry Award.
Her prize will be shared with an international writer of courage selected by Carol Ann Duffy in association with English PEN’s Writers at Risk Committee. This half of the prize is awarded to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.
The winner will be announced at the event at the British Library on 8 October where they will accept their prize alongside Carol Ann Duffy.
Carol Ann Duffy is the fourth author to win the prize, after the playwright David Hare, the novelist Hanif Kureishi and the poet Tony Harrison.
The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by international writers’ organisation English PEN in memory of Nobel-winning playwright Harold Pinter.
The prize is awarded annually to a British writer or writer resident in Britain of outstanding literary merit, who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel speech, casts an “unflinching, unswerving” gaze upon the world and shows a ”fierce intellectual determination…to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.
The British Library acquired Harold Pinter’s extensive archive in 2007. It is now available to researchers and selected items can be seen on display in the current exhibition, Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands.
HRH London, based on English PEN and the Telegraph information.