Clare Best

Clare Best
Name: Clare Best

A poet whose subjects include landscape, environment and human activity in place, collaborating with a visual artist to explore hidden and mysterious bodies of water.


Clare Best’s first full poetry collection, Excisions, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize 2012. She has performed her autobiographical cycle Self-portrait without Breasts across the UK and Ireland, and in the USA and Canada. Other poetry publications include Treasure Ground (poems written during a three-year residency on Woodlands Organic Farm in Lincolnshire), Breastless and CELL.

Clare writes, amongst other things, on subjects of landscape and environment, place and human activity in place. In Treasure Ground she wrote from a residency at Woodlands Organic Farm on the Lincolnshire Fens. Springlines – a collaborative publication with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, and part of their project exploring hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the south of England – came out with Little Toller in spring 2017. Clare and Mary Anne’s work for Springlines has been exhibited at Glyndebourne (2015), at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery (2017) and at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery in Lymington, Hants (2018).

Clare’s prose memoir The Missing List, a finalist in the Mslexia Memoir Competition 2015, was published by Linen Press in 2018 and her second full collection of poetry, Each Other, came out with Waterloo Press in autumn 2019. Clare has been a fine bookbinder, a bookseller, an editor and a university teacher of Creative Writing. She is currently making opera and other works for voice at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She moved from Sussex to the Suffolk Coast in 2018, and is part of the Festival Team for Poetry in Aldeburgh.

Clare is one of our members featuring their work as part of the ClimateCultures Quarantine Connection series. We shared her piece, Book of water, on Day 28 of the 40-day series.
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