Ella Duffy

By Laura Kenworthy 1min read

Ella Duffy first visited Homerton at the age of 16, and immediately felt at home.

The College’s appeal grew when she learned about its well-founded reputation for friendliness, and its strong track record in her chosen subject, Education with Drama and English.

“I’d heard really lovely things about Homerton, and the course covered such an amazing variety of topics. I did lots of acting while I was at Cambridge, so the Drama aspect of the course really appealed.”

She also threw herself into HUS life, serving as LGBT+ rep in her third year. “It really tied in to the sense of community the College provided, gave me the freedom to express myself and allowed me to work out who I wanted to be.”

Since leaving in 2016, Ella has rapidly built up a reputation as a poet. She has published two collections, New Hunger and Rootstalk, as well as editing the anthology Seeds & Roots, and her work has been shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize and the Saboteur Awards. In 2019 she won the Live Canon International Poetry Competition, and Rootstalk was a 2020 Poetry School Book of the Year.

Although much of her success to date has come in the context of the pandemic, she has found the literary world of the past few years surprisingly energised.

“Obviously live events were very quiet during Covid. But lots of festivals grabbed the opportunity to go online, which is a great way of reaching people who might never have engaged otherwise. Poetry feels very vibrant.”