Prisoner book ban enemy Carol Ann Duffy honoured

Carol Ann Duffy becomes a dame
Carol Ann Duffy becomes a dame

By staff

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who protested against justice secretary Chris Grayling's ban on prisoners receiving books earlier this year, has been made a dame in the new year's honour's list.

The government handed her a DBE (Dames Commander of the British Empire) "for services to poetry", following her OBE in 1995 and CBE in 2005.

Duffy led the campaign against the prisoner book ban in March by reading poems outside Pentonville Prison in a protest drawing attention to the campaign, triggered by an article from Howard League chief Frances Crook.

She also added her signature to a letter denouncing the policy, which earlier in December a judge found to be unlawful.

Duffy, whose anger at the prisoner book ban has not stopped her being honoured by the government, said: "I am delighted that the long tradition of the Laureateship and poetry in general are part of these celebrations.

"We have many wonderful poets in this country and it is a privilege to represent them."

Duffy joins other dames in this year's honour's list including Anne McGuire, the MP for Stirling, actress Kristin Scott Thomas and the unsuccessful candidate for Luton South in 2010 - Esther Rantzen.


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