Carol Ann Duffy to host ‘poetry Live Aid’ for Haiti

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Carol Ann Duffy, the first bisexual poet laureate, is to host a ‘poetry Live Aid’ fundraiser for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Duffy, who was given the post last year, has organised Saturday’s event at Westminster’s Central Hall with 21 other poets.

Poetry Live for Haiti hopes to raise £20,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

Duffy told BBC News she wanted to do something “bigger” than simply donating money to the cause.

She said: “Like everyone else, I was very deeply affected by reports from Haiti about the earthquake and its aftermath, and I just thought to myself ‘this is going to take years to put right’. These people will need support for a long, long time to come.

“It didn’t seem enough to do the usual thing and get my credit card out, and I wondered if we could do something bigger than that, and being a poet, a poetry reading was the only thing I could think of.”

She has enlisted poets and authors such as Andrew Motion, Roger McGough, and Gillian Clarke. Some of those set to appear have written works about the disaster, which they will read on Saturday.

Duffy added that she felt poetry was an appropriate medium to raise money for Haiti, saying: “It is so close to prayer, it is the most intense use of language that there is.”

The earthquake hit the country on January 12th and is estimated to have killed up to 200,000 people.

While unprecedented amounts of aid have been pledged from around the world, the ruined state of the country’s infrastructure has made it difficult to get relief supplies to survivors.

Yesterday, teenager Darlene Etienne was pulled alive from the rubble after 15 days. She was suffering from severe dehydration and was said to be hours from death.