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Maureen Patricia Duffy (born 21 October 1933 in Worthing, Sussex, England) is a British poet, novelist, and writer of plays.

Early life and education

Duffy graduated from King's College London. Her degree was in English. She became a schoolteacher in 1956. She left that work in 1961. In 1961, she became a fulltime poet and writer of plays. Her first novel was That's How It Was. It was published in 1962. It was praised by critics.


She has published around thirty books. Her Collected Poems, 1949–84 appeared in 1985. Her work has often used Freudian ideas and Greek Myth as a framework.

She has been active in supporting the rights of homosexuals. 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. At one time, she was the President of the European Writers' Congress (renamed European Writers Council in 2008). She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1985 and awarded their Benson Medal in 2004.

She is also deeply interested in intellectual property law.

  • Yorke, L. (1999). "British lesbian poetics: a brief exploration". Feminist Review; (62) Summer 1999, pp. 78–90.
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