Clare Shaw Readings and Events
'Towards a General Theory of Love is the fourth collection by Clare Shaw, a much-cherished poet who won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2018. Her searching and magnetic poems hold a clarity of thought as they explore multiple emotional states and perspectives.' - Will Mackie, New Writing North (New & recent poetry from the North, Summer 2022)
Towards a General Theory of Love, the fourth collection by Clare Shaw (they/them), was published by Bloodaxe in May 2022. It won a Northern Writers' Award for work in progress. Clare's brilliant joint live-streamed launch reading of 31 May 2022 is now on YouTube, and can be seen below.
Towards a General Theory of Love follows Flood, Clare Shaw's eye-witness account of the devastating floods in Britain left whole swathes of the country submerged, including their home town of Todmorden, but ripples out from there. Intimately interwoven with the breakdown of a relationship, flooding serves as a powerful metaphor for wider experiences of loss, destruction and recovery.
Clare Shaw regularly gives readings and workshops across the UK. Clare has been Poet-in-Residence at Swindon Poetry Festival and in 2021 was Carbon Landscape Poet in Residence for Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Manchester Literature Festival. A film of Clare reading new work on location, followed by a conversation with fellow poet Helen Mort about the main themes illuminated through Clare's poetry, featured online as part of Manchester Literature Festival in October 2021, and is still available - details below.
Clare Shaw's third poetry collection Flood was chosen for New Writing North's Read Regional 2019 campaign. Clare took part in numerous Read Regional readings and workshops at libraries across the North of England from March to June 2019.
JOINT LAUNCH EVENT ON 31 MAY 2022
Tuesday 31 May 2022, live-streamed launch reading by Jo Clement, Sarah Wimbush and Clare Shaw
Bloodaxe's joint launch reading by Jo Clement, Sarah Wimbush and Clare Shaw celebrating the publication of their new poetry collections was live-streamed on 31 May 2022, and is now on YouTube. They were reading from and discussing their new collections with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley, and with each other. All three poets have won Northern Writers' Awards for poems included in these collections.
Jo Clement read first in each set, followed by Sarah Wimbush. They were reading from their first full collections Outlandish and Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands. Clare Shaw was reading from their fourth collection, Towards a General Theory of Love. Passionate, mesmerising readings from all three poets, followed by a wonderful discussion during which they drew out the connections between their three books.
FILM WITH CLARE SHAW
Manchester Literature Festival, November 2021
Watch Clare Shaw perform new poems inspired by their time as Carbon Landscape Poet in Residence for Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Manchester Literature Festival earlier this year. Clare reads her new work on location, followed by a conversation with fellow poet Helen Mort about the main themes illuminated through Clare's poetry, including the healing of post-industrial landscapes, and their own recent experiences of finding solace and recovery in green spaces. What happens when we engage with nature? How do local wildlife and green spaces shape us – and how do we shape them? Can we reverse environmental damage – and can poetry play a role? They discuss Flood in particular.
Clare Shaw is the author of three poetry collections – Straight Ahead, Head On and Flood. Their fourth collection Towards a General Theory of Love was awarded a Northern Writers' Award and was published by Bloodaxe in May 2022. In 2021 Clare presented and co-wrote Ways to Weather the Storm on BBC Radio4, examining how creativity and art helped the Hebden Bridge community to live with the impact of repeated flooding.
Watch the film here.
[14 June 2022]