Clare BestClare Best has always lived closely with words: she has been a bookbinder, a bookseller and an editor. She now teaches Creative Writing for Brighton University and the Open University and has held Residencies in settings as different as Woodlands Organic Farm in Lincolnshire, HMP Shepton Mallet, a small town on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore in Italy, and most recently Brighton University, 2014-15.

Clare’s poetry has been published since 2002 in a wide range of literary magazines including Poetry News, The Rialto, Magma, The North, The London Magazine, Smiths Knoll, Agenda, Resurgence and in many anthologies. Poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. Clare’s first full collection, Excisions, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. She has performed her autobiographical poem cycle Self-portrait without Breasts around the UK and in Boston and Toronto.

Clare is working on a new collection of poems, and is collaborating with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis on a project (supported by the South Downs National Park) that explores hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the South Country of England.

Passionate about stimulating interest in live literature, Clare co-founded New Metaphysical Poetry at Sussex University andchairs Needlewriters, a quarterly reading series in Lewes, which attracts lively and committed audiences.

Her special interests are landscape writing, life narratives, and writing the body. She lives on the edge of the South Downs, with her husband, their son and his whippet. And a lot of books.

Poetry publications:

  • Excisions, Waterloo Press, September 2011 (hear 'Prognosis', from Excisions, here)
  • Breastless, Pighog Press, 2011.
  • Treasure Ground, HappenStance, 2010 (hear the title poem from Treasure Ground, here)