Clare Pollard wrote most of these poems while still at school in Bolton. Too young, perhaps, to expect anyone to take her seriously, but young enough to question that assumption and much else besides. Her poems are fresh and energetic, barbed with a modern girl’s natural cynicism, but tempered with open-eyed hope as well as wry acceptance.
In The Heavy-Petting Zoo, the male of the species is shown in all his preening glory, his growling and posturing exposed but also given marks out of ten. The book gives us the world according to Clare Pollard writing as a teenager, an insider’s in-your-face portrayal of the tarnished lives of today’s bright young things.
'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.
‘This is such a striking first book that at any age it would be remarkable – from a teenage writer it leaves you excited that there may be so much more to come’ – Time Out.
‘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.