Laureate Losers

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The Independent Online
Carol Ann Duffy

Born in 1955 into a Glaswegian socialist family but brought up in Staffordshire she published her debut collection before she went to Liverpool University. Since the mid-Eighties she has produced a succession of spiky, gripping and compassionate collections with a strong dramatic flair that illuminate contemporary lives, especially those of women.

Derek Walcott

Born in 1930 on the island of St Lucia. Published his first poetry collection in 1962 and followed it with a torrent of lyrical and epic verse that mixes Creole-Caribbean roots and a reinterpretation of the European tradition. Omeros, his superb transposition of the Odyssey into the lives of Caribbean fisherfolk, triggered his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.