Carol Ann Duffy is the first ever woman poet laureate in the UK and the first in 400 years. Appointed May 1, she says: ‘I look on it as recognition of the great women poets we now have writing…’ The position attracts a yearly stipend of £5,750, which Carol Ann Duffy is donating to the Poetry Society to fund a new poetry prize, and a ‘butt of sack’ (600 bottles of sherry). You can find the full story by Alison Flood at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/may/01/carol-ann-duffy-poet-laureate Wikipedia reminds us she is also the first Scottish poet laureate. Rapture (Picador 2005) which won the 2005 TS Eliot Prize is her latest poetry collection. She also writes poetry for children and is a playwright.