All that is worth remembering in life, is the poetry of it. Fear is poetry, hope is poetry, love is poetry, hatred is poetry; contempt, jealousy, remorse, admiration, wonder, pity, despair or madness are all poetry.
William Hazlitt – Lectures on the English Poets

Clare Best, photo by Derek Adams
Photo by Derek Adams

I am the author of Treasure Ground  (HappenStance 2009), Excisions (Waterloo 2011), Breastless (Pighog 2011), Cell (Frogmore Press 2015) and Springlines (Little Toller Books 2017). My prose memoir The Missing Listdescribed by Andrew O’Hagan as ‘a tapestry of time – brightly coloured, beautifully orchestrated, emotionally pure’ was a finalist in the Mslexia Memoir Competition, 2014/15 and was published by Linen Press in September 2018. My second full poetry collection, Each Other, was published by Waterloo Press in autumn 2019. A limited edition hand-stitched pamphlet, End of Season, came out with Coast to Coast to Coast in 2021.

Poems have appeared in many journals including The Rialto, Resurgence, Envoi, Canadian Woman Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, BigCityLit, Poetry News, 14 Magazine, Finished Creatures, The London Magazine, The Friday Poem, Magma, The Warwick Review, The Fenland Reed. Prose has appeared in Agenda, Artemis, Earthlines, The BMJ Medical Humanities Blog.

My work has been included in anthologies published by Bloodaxe, Bloomsbury, Emma Press, HappenStance, Five Leaves Press and Frogmore Press amongst others.

I have always lived closely with words. I have been a bookbinder, a bookseller and an editor. I hold a MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex. I have facilitated creative writing in many and various academic and community settings. I led the ‘Tools for Writing’ workshops for life prisoners at HMP Shepton Mallet (Outside In project, 2004), I was writer in residence at Woodlands Organic Farm from 2006 to 2008 and at the University of Brighton in 2015. I co-designed and taught on the Autobiography and Life Writing / Creative Non-Fiction Programme at the Writers Place in Brighton and I have been an Associate Lecturer in creative writing for the Open University since 2006.

Particular areas of interest are landscape, the body, and life writing in its many guises. My work explores and interprets worlds of intensity, desire and complication lying within and beyond the physical.

I write prose as well as poetry, and I often collaborate with visual artists. In 2020 I was awarded a MA (Distinction) in Opera Making by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and I recently completed a year’s Fellowship there, 2020-2021.

Agent: Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann

Biogs and official photos of Clare may be found here.