Overview"There were no pictures on the walls of the rented rooms my mother and I lived in when I was a child. But there were pictures on the school walls, details of exhibitions and the lives of great painters in Everybody's Weekly, and, when we could afford it, we would treat ourselves to a trip to the nearest city and its travelling exhibitions of prints, which was how I saw most of Van Gogh that wasn't at school." For Duffy, pictures were and still are magical creations and recreations of the visible world – of history, mythologies, landscape, love and death – where the artists who make them attempt risk-taking feats analogous to a poet's with words. Pictures abound in this collection, ushering the reader from canvas to screen via x-rays and iPhone snapshots, the latter inspiring the closing sequence 'Burdsong'. Above all, Pictures from an Exhibition celebrates the mind's eye, which is its own exhibition gallery: transforming Darlington Station into an upturned ship's hull or a mauled pigeon into a still life, and glorying in the lives, loves and creations of painters from Veronese to Anselm Kiefer.
Reviews"Maureen Duffy deserves serious acclaim as a poet, as much as a novelist." —Sunday Times
"She presses on like a medieval troubadour across barriers of genre, gen- der, space and time." —TLS
Author BiographyMaureen Duffy is a fellow of King's College, London and the Royal Society of Literature. In addition to her considerable literary output (19 novels, as well as plays, 8 collections of poetry and non-fiction), Maureen Duffy has devoted the major part of her professional life in a voluntary capacity to the advancement of creators', and particularly writers', interests. This work began with the establishment in 1972 of the Writers' Action Group, co-founded by Maureen Duffy and Brigid Brophy, to secure for UK writers a public lending right (achieved with the passage of the Public Lending Right Act 1979). During the same period, Maureen Duffy was instrumental in launching the Authors' Lending and Copyright Society (now the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society – ALCS) for the collective administration of authors' rights in the UK in such fields as photocopying, cable retransmission of broadcast. The Society also acts as a channel for the distribution to UK writers of payments from the exercise of their rights overseas. Maureen Duffy was Chairman of ALCS from 1982. Maureen has been President of the ALCS since 2001. A long-standing member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, Maureen Duffy has served the Guild in a variety of elected positions, particularly as Joint Chairman 1977-1978 and President 1985-1988. Maureen Duffy has represented the ALCS and the Writers' Guild on the British Copyright Council since the mid-1970s. She was a Vice Chairman of the Council from 1981-1986 and Chairman from 1989 to 1998 during which period the Council became a focus for the representation of UK creators' interests within the European Union, as well as in the UK. Maureen was Vice-President of the Council from 1998 to 2003. In June 2003 the Council elected Maureen as its President of Honour. Maureen Duffy is the past President of the European Writers Congress, now the European Writers Council, established to safeguard and promote writers' interests in the wider Europe. Recently she has been the acting representative of the International Authors Forum to WIPO in Geneva. Over the past 15-20 years Maureen Duffy has worked closely with a number of other UK organizations in the arts and literature field. She was Chairman of the Greater London Arts Literature Panel from 1979-1981, has served on the Arts Council's Literature Panel and has lectured and given readings of her work in a variety of overseas countries, including China, Europe and India, the United States and Canada. She has Honorary D Literature degrees from the universities of Loughborough and Kent.