Clare Shaw was born in Burnley in 1972. Their first two collections with Bloodaxe were Straight Ahead (2006), which was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex New Writers’ Award for Poetry and attracted a Forward Prize Highly Commended for Best Single Poem, and Head On (2012), which according to the Times Literary Supplement is 'fierce, memorable and visceral'. Their later collections are Flood (2018), a New Writing North Read Regional title in 2019, and Towards a General Theory of Love (2022), written after winning a Northern Writers' Award. Clare is co-director of Kendal Poetry Festival, a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and a regular tutor for the Writing Project, the Poetry School, Wordsworth Grasmere and Arvon. Clare also works as a mental health trainer and has taught and published widely in the field, including Our Encounters with Self-Injury (eds. Baker, Biley and Shaw, PCCS 2013) and Otis Doesn't Scratch (PCCS 2015), a unique storybook resource for children who live with self-injury. Along with the novelist Winnie M Li, Clare was the recipient of a Royal Society of Literature Literature Matters award in 2019, creating workshops and an online resource for survivors of trauma. In 2021, Clare co-wrote and presented Four Ways to Weather the Storm for BBC Radio Four, examining the relationship between creativity, landscape and resilience. Clare lives above Hebden Bridge with her daughter and their two pet rats.
Books by Clare Shaw