John Wedgwood Clarke trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and holds a D.Phil. in Modernist poetics from the University of York. He is currently Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences at the University of Hull, Scarborough. He is UK and Ireland poetry editor for Arc Publications and teaches poetry on the part-time creative writing degree at the University of Hull. He grew up in St. Ives, Cornwall, and now lives in Scarborough.
John will be a familiar face to many Yorkshire-based poetry supporters through his work as creative director of Beverley Literature Festival and
Bridlington Poetry Festival. His poems have
appeared in various publications and competitions, and in 2010 he was shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize. ‘His work is amongst the best to have emerged from new poets in this country over the past two or three years,' remarked the prize's judge, Simon Armitage. He was commended in the 2010 National Poetry Competition for his poem 'Stubble', readable here. April 2012 saw the Valley Press publication of his debut pamphlet, Sea Swim, the result of a recent invigorating artistic initiative in Scarborough described by Carol Ann Duffy as 'a simple and simply beautiful idea.' Read more details on the book here.
16th April 2012
Throughout 2011, John led 'Sea Swimmers' into Scarborough's South Bay -
his debut pamphlet contains eighteen poems inspired by this experience, exploring the fluent, fragile relationship between the swimmer, the land and the sea. (read more)
souls are exhaled from moist things
The sea has chilled and cockled this book.
Words migrate through its pages:
both doors of the chalet are open; the horizon
a lightly tapped tuning fork.
There’s nothing to record but your absence.
A tiny spider, auburn-legged, light
as sea foam, sews along the table’s aluminium edge.
I write in absentia, snow on the sea.