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Environmental studies - Maureen Duffy

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Environmental studies
Maureen Duffy
Paperback / softback
Enitharmon Press
UK Publication Date

Centred on environments
human, insect and animal
some experienced personally, some observed, some imagined. Though strictly contemporary in her concerns, she reaches back in her poetry to childhood, and beyond that in her imagination to cultural figures of the past
John Donne, Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, bringing them lucidly and vividly to life. There is a strong sense of compassion and fair play in her poems, reflecting Duffy's lifelong support for progressive social and political movements, and a beautiful lyricism and technical skill derived from her love of the classical world and Old and Mediaeval English. As so often in her work, London past and present provides the backdrop to her real and imagined life stories: of love and loss, forebears and friends, the humorous and sometimes painful experiences of old age.

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Maureen Duffy was born in 1933 in Worthing, Sussex. As well as being a poet, playwright and novelist, she has also published biographies of Aphra Behn and Henry Purcell, and The Erotic World of Faery a book-length study of eroticism in faery fantasy literature. After a tough childhood, Duffy took her degree in English from King's College London. She went on to be a teacher from 1956 to 1961, and edited three editions of a poetry magazine called The Sixties. She then turned to writing full-time as a poet and playwright after being commissioned to produce a screenplay by Granada Television. In 1960 her play, Pearson, won the City of London Young Playwrights Award. She made her dbut as a novelist with That's How It Was, published to wide acclaim in 1962. Her first openly gay novel was The Microcosm (1966), set in the famous Gateways Club in London. Among her later novels, Gor Saga was televised in 1988 in a three-part mini-series called First Born, starring Charles Dance. She is also the author of 16 plays for stage, television and radio, the most recent being Sappho Singing in 2010. Duffy took an active part during the debates around homosexual law reform, which culminated in the Act of 1967. In 1977 she published The Ballad of the Blasphemy Trial, a broadside against the trial of the Gay News newspaper for ?blasphemous libel'. She has also been active in a variety of groups representing the interest of writers, and is currently the President of the Authors Licensing and Copyright Society, and a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She is deeply interested in issues around enforcing traditional forms of intellectual property law, and is President of the British Copyright Council, and a Fellow of King's College London. She was made a D.Litt. by Loughborough University in 2011 for services to literature and equality law.

"Maureen Duffy has inspired many other writers and proved that the English novel need not be realistic and domestic, but can be fantastical, experimental and political. Perhaps it is her poetry, though, that most fully captures her range as she presses on like a medieval troubadour across barriers of genre, gender, space and time." -Maggie Gee, Professor, Creative Writing, Bath Spa University

"The majority of her verse falls into the 'concise' category, making Environmental Studies a collection that is like its poems: short and strong." -Jerome Cooper, Dundee University Review of the Arts

Keyword Index
Poetry, English.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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