poet, born in Glasgow, educated at Liverpool University. Her debut collection, Standing Female Nude (1985), announced her interest in the dramatic monologue, frequently using the voices of outsiders—the dispossessed, the insane, and those, especially women, ignored by history. Her interest in the speaking voice led her to the demotic and to a supple, distinctive grammar with the frequent use of short sentences and italics. In Selling Manhattan (1987) her subtle rhythms, marked by assonance and internal rhymes, began to be used in more personal verse and in love poems as well as monologues. The themes of nostalgia, desire, loss, and memory, the search for ‘first space and the right place’ begun here came to predominate in The Other Country (1990) and Mean Time (1993), which contain several already much‐anthologized love poems and lyrics of Larkinesque plangency. Recent collections include The World's Wife (1999), in which historic male characters are presented from the wife's viewpoint; Feminine Gospels (2002); Rapture (2005, T. S. Eliot Prize); and The World's Second Wife (2006). Her range, craft, many awards, and gift as a public performer have made her one of Britain's most popular, respected, and influential poets.