Clare Pollard's fourth collection is steeped in folktale and ballads, and looks at the stories we tell about ourselves. From the Pendle witch-trials in 17th-century Lancashire to the gangs of modern-day east London, "Changeling" takes on our myths and monsters. These are poems of place that journey from Zennor to Whitby, Broadstairs to Brick Lane. Whether relocating the traditional ballad 'The Twa Corbies' to war-torn Iraq, introducing us to the bearded lady Miss Lupin, or giving us a glimpse of the 'beast of Bolton', "Changeling" is a collection about our relationship with the Other: fear and trust, force and freedom.
"Her work really is emphatically of our time, capturing the world in its beauties and horrors in writing that's technically superb, but which also has what, if I was a sentimental chap, I'd call heart" - Ian McMillan, The Verb. "The themes are ancient - guilt, grief, the almost unbearable com-mingling of beauty and suffering - but shown through contemporary globalised life in all its grossness and glory - Pollard's wit, honesty and recklessness" - Frances Leviston, Yorkshire Post. "Clare Pollard has so much youthful talent that it's alarming. The poems are raw and sexy, exotic and compelling, their insights at once intimate and universal. There's a cruel precision of observation too, coupled with a real opulence, about these pieces - I loved the headlong rush of it all" - Catherine Czerkawska, Mslexia.
lare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978 and currently lives in East London. She has published four collections with Bloodaxe: The Heavy-Petting Zoo (1998), which she wrote while still at school, Bedtime (2002), Look, Clare! Look! (2005) and Changeling. Her first play The Weather (Faber, 2004) premiered at the Royal Court Theatre. She works as an editor, broadcaster and teacher. Her recent documentary for radio, My Male Muse (2007), was a Radio 4 Pick of the Year, and she is a Royal Literary Fund Literary Fellow at Essex University. She is co-editor, with James Byrne, of the anthology Voice Recognition: 21 poets for the 21st century (Bloodaxe Books, 2009).