A poet with a background in theatre, collaborations with an illustrator and a songwriter, and practical and creative engagements with local landscapes and nature.
Clare — who sadly died on 7th April 2021 after an illness — will be sorely missed by all who knew her and her work. Not only her poetry and other books but her work with writing groups and on many projects — such as the Waterlight Project in Cambridgeshire and the River Gelt Project in Cumbria — all demonstrate Clare’s deep engagement with people and with the living world, and offer a lasting legacy and much to celebrate. You will find much of Clare’s work and character represented on her site, including specially selected poems.
Clare Crossman began writing in the theatre in the North of England where she wrote and directed for youth, community, and Theatre in Education for Prism Arts and the Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster.
Growing up in north Cumbria, she returned to live there in 1989 after the early death of her father. The wildness and beauty of the north Pennine Landscape where she walked gave her space, silence and time to write and finish the poems she had kept in notebooks. She became a member of The New Lake Poets in Keswick. Clare lived with her husband, Iain Mcphee, in Cambridgeshire since 2000.
In 1996 her pamphlet Landscapes won the Redbeck competition and she published five collections of poetry and a CD, Fen Song: A Ballad of the Fen, with singer-songwriter Penni McLaren Walker, which was toured with Creative Arts East. Her poems have been widely anthologised. Her latest collection, published after her death, is The Mulberry Tree.
Illustrator Victor M Ibanez produced a series of 10 prints in response to a sequence of Clare’s poems about climate change, which you can see in Clare’s first rwo posts for ClimateCultures. She was involved in conserving a local woodland for many years, and her belief in the essential importance of the natural world is part of her life as a person and a writer.