April 4th, 2019 – Guest Poet: Claire Williamson

Claire’s latest (of four) poetry collections Visiting the Minotaur was published by Seren in 2018. She has been highly commended in the Bridport Prize (2017) and was runner up in the Neil Gunn writing competition (2017) and the Sentinal Poetry Quarterly (2018). 
See also The FRP Interview with Claire conducted by Graeme Ryan

She’s currently studying for a doctorate in Creative Writing at Cardiff University exploring ‘Writing the 21st Century Bereavement novel’.

Claire writes libretti and has been commissioned to commemorate the SS Great Britain, the outbreak and closure of WW1, and St George’s Hall, Bristol. She is Programme Leader for the UK’s only MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. 

Some Endorsements on Claire’s work

‘Claire Williamson’s poems are beguiling hybrids — self-assured yet emotionally raw, mysterious yet not precious, meditations of wonder and exorcisms of grief.’ 
Michel Faber

‘With each book, Claire Williamson’s poetry draws closer to the true and unselfconscious marriage of the mythic and the personal. The sometimes painfully raw material of a life gains depth and resonance, while the figures of myth draw closer, to inhabit tender, energetic bodies in this world – bodies that may be endangered, may be dangerous, and may be our own.’
Philip Gross

‘Rare is the collection that possesses such a boundless emotional palette, but in Visiting the Minotaur the reader is called on a journey that explores the frontiers of feeling and sutures opposites – past to future and trauma to recovery – in a dazzling display of linguistic imagination and lyrical adventure. Moments of devastating recollection are conveyed with skewering exactness whilst portraits of motherhood shed fresh light on this experience. By turns heart-wrenching and page-stopping, Williamson’s new collection triangulates drama, comedy and memory in a way that leaves the reader changed. Here is a book that demands to be read and re-read.’
Carolyn Jess-Cooke

‘Myth and the collective unconscious reverberate through this extraordinary collection as the essence of being human is explored through poems that take their soundings from the psychologically transformative labyrinths of the imagination. What grips and astounds is the writer’s ability to bring the material, the substantial, the solid alive on each page with startling force. In poems about subjects such as breast feeding, the suicide of a beloved brother, the difficulties of childhood and the visceral love-ties between mother and child, Claire Williamson opens up new ways of experiencing the world through the intense physicality of a woman’s perspective. A landmark in recent women’s writing.’
Jenny Lewis