Clare Pollard wrote her first book The Heavy-Petting Zoo while still at school. Its sequel is Bedtime: a setting for intimacy and tenderness as well as cruelty and pretence, where reality and fantasy are blurred. These are cutting poems from the edge, confronting evil in all its manifestations, especially the bondage of sex and cruelty. They address highly contemporary issues, from confessionalism and reality TV to masculinity in crisis, racial politics and atheism.
‘Clare Pollard has so much youthful talent that it’s alarming. The poems in Bedtime have all the virtues of youth. They are raw and sexy, exotic and compelling, their insights at once intimate and universal. There’s a cruel precision of observation too, coupled with a real opulence, about these pieces – and the wonderful, reckless revelling in the language. I loved the headlong rush of it all’ – Catherine Czerkawska, Mslexia
'This is work you can’t ignore – raw, reckless and more bloody-minded than an older, so-called wiser poet would dare to be. Clare Pollard tells us what it’s like to be young, slim and pissed at the door of the 21st century’ – Selima Hill.
‘Pollard’s poems are like shards of glass, brittle, dangerous things that work their way under your skin. Her voice captures the pain, anxiety and emptiness of a generation weaned on Coke and Diamond White, reared on fast food and TV, and now entering adulthood armed with utterly ephemeral cultural reference points and a strong suit in self-destruction… Her poems compulsively re-enact the reaching out to life and the withdrawing in pain… Pollard is a poet of the 21st century, a witness of the present and a shaper of its voice’ – John Sears, PopMatters
‘Both a seasoned observer and a master technician…like early Sylvia Plath re-interpreted for the Trainspotting generation’ – Daily Mail
Clare Pollard reads from Changeling
Clare Pollard reads four poems from her Bloodaxe collection Changeling and talks about the book's themes. The poems are 'Tam Lin's Wife', 'Pendle', 'The Two Ravens' and 'The Caravan'. Neil Astley filmed Clare Pollard at her home in London in June 2011.