Pendle welcomes Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at Colne Library.'Photo Ben Parsons
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at Colne Library.'Photo Ben Parsons

Pendle’s poetry enthusiasts came out in force to welcome the Poet Laureate to Colne.

Carol Ann Duffy attended Colne Library, in Market Street, with her multi-instrumentalist John Sampson on World Book Day — despite the fact both were suffering with flu-like symptoms.

Throughout the course of the sell-out evening, Carol Ann read a selection of her works, including “The Bees”, a poem chosen as part of the North-West “Poetry Places” promotion, and snippets from “The World’s Wife” collection.

She ended with a reading of “The Lancashire Witches”, a poem commissioned by Green Close to mark the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials.

Carol Ann, who named war poet Edward Thomas as one of her favourite writers, said: “John and I have both been really ill. I am at the end of the bug, and John has just started it.

“The welcoming here has been so warm that I feel better. It has been fantastic.”

Following the poetry performance, praise soared in for Carol Ann — including from John, who has been working alongside her for approximately 10 years.

The musician, who plays an assortment of unique instruments including the crumhorn, gemshorn and hulusi, said: “A lot of people are very good poets, but they can be mind-numbingly academic and difficult to consume.

“Carol’s poetry is really accessible, and that is what I love.”

Colne Library branch manager Christine Bradley said: “A big thank you to Carol Ann Duffy and John for an absolutely fantastic evening. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us.”

And Stewart Brooks, from Colne, said: “The evening added intonation and colour to her poetry, and it made the world of difference.”

Due to the success of the evening, it is now hoped that similar events will be arranged for Colne Library.

Gillian Herbert, from Colne and District Writers’ Circle, said: “It was a fabulous night — absolutely wicked. We would like more please.”

And Mandy Salorian, from Barnoldswick, added: “It has been a real kudos for Colne.”