Maureen Duffy

Payments To Authors: Past Campaigns & Future Possibilities

Format: Video

Target Audience: All Levels

Novelist, poet, and playwright Maureen Duffy, who has been at the forefront of international campaigns for authors’ rights for decades, in conversation with Barbara Hayes, of Public Lending Right (PLR) International and Deputy CEO of the UK Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Their wide-ranging discussion takes in the value of intellectual property, how campaigns of the past were won and the future for micro-payments to authors on a global scale.


Maureen Duffy (b. 1933 in Worthing, Sussex) is a notable contemporary British poet, playwright and novelist. She has also published a literary biography of Aphra Behn, and The Erotic World of Faery a book-length study of eroticism in faery fantasy literature.

After a tough childhood, Duffy took her degree in English from King’s College London. She went on to be a schoolteacher from 1956 to 1961, and edited three editions of a poetry magazine called the sixties. She then turned to writing full-time as a poet and playwright after being commissioned to produce a screenplay by Granada Television. Her first novel, written at the suggestion of a publisher, That’s How It Was (1962), was published to great acclaim. Her first openly lesbian novel was The Microcosm (1966), set in the famous lesbian Gateways club in London.

Maureen is the author of 34 published works of fiction, including 9 collections of poetry, non-fiction, and 16 plays for stage, screen and radio, the most recent, being Sappho Singing; she is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of King’s College London, and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature, as well as President of Honour of the British Copyright Council and the ALCS, and a CISAC gold medallist. She was recently awarded a D. Litt by Loughborough University for contributions to literature and equality law reform. Life Writing is included in her new collection, Environmental Studies, to be published by Enitharmon in April 2013.

Her novel Gor Saga was televised in 1988 in a three part mini-series called First Born starring Charles Dance.

She is said to have been Britain’s first lesbian to ‘come out’ in public, and made public comments during the debates around homosexual law reform. In 1977 she published The Ballad of the Blasphemy Trial, a broadside against the trial of the Gay News newspaper for ‘blasphemous libel’.


Twitter: @MaureenDuffy

Facebook: @MaureenDuffy


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