Claire Askew was born in North Yorkshire in 1986, and is currently based in Edinburgh. She started her writing career as a poet, and her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, The Sunday Mail, The Edinburgh Review, Mslexia and PANK. Claire’s poems have been recognised by the International Salt Prize for Poetry, the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition, and the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize, among others. In 2016, her debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe Books, and shortlisted for the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.
Claire holds a MSc in Creative Writing and a PhD in Creative Writing & Contemporary Women’s Poetry, both from the University of Edinburgh. She works as a freelance writer in a variety of educational settings. Most recently, she was named as a Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion, and is currently working with Craigmillar Library in Edinburgh to encourage young people aged 12-18 to engage with books and stories. Claire is working on her debut novel Three Rivers, a literary crime novel which won the Lucy Cavendish Prize for unpublished fiction in 2016.
0207 344 1069
THIS CHANGES THINGS – buy it here
Shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2016 & the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award 2016
This Changes Things is Claire Askew’s first full collection, coming after years of work in Scotland’s flourishing poetry and spoken word scene. Her poems focus on the lives and experiences of women – particularly the socially or economically marginalised – at pains both to empathise and to recognise the limits of this empathy. They embody a need to acknowledge and challenge the poet’s privileged position as documenter and outsider, a responsibility to the poem’s political message and to that message’s human subject. This changes things draws much of its strength from this exploration of inbetweenness. Claire Askew’s purposeful deployment of objects, lighting effects and liminal spaces implicates her reader in the poem’s argument, holds up a mirror and asks us to pay attention. The book’s romantic relationships, depictions of frustrated travel or social mobility, are bound up in its awareness of the systems of power that permit no true state of innocence. Even the final poem, ‘Hydra’ – with its celebration of the body and its senses – cannot ultimately allow us off the hook.
PUBLISHER: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
PUBLICATION DATE: 25th February 2016