Gillian Clarke

Gillian Clarke

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Gillian Clarke is a Welsh poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator from Welsh.

Life


Clarke was born in Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 and brought up in Cardiff and Penarth
Penarth
Penarth is a town and seaside resort in the Vale of Glamorgan , Wales, 5.2 miles south west from the city centre of the Welsh capital city of Cardiff and lying on the north shore of the Severn Estuary at the southern end of Cardiff Bay...

, though for part of the Second World War she was in Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is a county in the south west of Wales. It borders Carmarthenshire to the east and Ceredigion to the north east. The county town is Haverfordwest where Pembrokeshire County Council is headquartered....

. Although both of her parents were native Welsh speakers, she was brought up speaking only English, and she learnt to speak Welsh as an adult. After graduating in English from University of Wales, Cardiff
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

, she spent a year working for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 in London. She then returned to Cardiff where she married and had a daughter, Catrin - about whom she has written a poem of the same name - and two sons. She worked as an English teacher, first in the Reardon-Smith Nautical College, and later in Newport
Newport
Newport is a city and unitary authority area in Wales. Standing on the banks of the River Usk, it is located about east of Cardiff and is the largest urban area within the historic county boundaries of Monmouthshire and the preserved county of Gwent...

 College of Art. In the mid 1980s she moved to rural Ceredigion
Ceredigion
Ceredigion is a county and former kingdom in mid-west Wales. As Cardiganshire , it was created in 1282, and was reconstituted as a county under that name in 1996, reverting to Ceredigion a day later...

, west Wales with her second husband, after which time she spent some years as a creative writing
Creative writing
Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature. Works which fall into this category include novels, epics, short stories, and poems...

 tutor at the University of Glamorgan
University of Glamorgan
The University of Glamorgan is a university based in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales with campuses in Treforest, Glyntaff, Merthyr Tydfil, Tyn y Wern and Cardiff...

. Her poetry is studied by GCSE and A Level students throughout Britain. She has given poetry readings and lectures in Europe and the United States, and her work has been translated into ten languages. A considerable number of her poems are used in the GCSE AQA Anthology
AQA Anthology
The AQA Anthology is a collection of poems and short texts which are studied in English schools for GCSE English and English Literature, produced by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance...

.

Clarke has published numerous collections of poetry for adults and children, see below, as well as dramatic commissions and numerous articles in a wide range of publications. She is a former editor of Anglo-Welsh Review (1975–84) and the current president of Tŷ Newydd
Ty Newydd
Tŷ Newydd, the National Centre for Writing in Wales, is a renowned writing centre at Llanystumdwy, near Cricieth, in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. It is in the former home of David Lloyd George, the Welsh politician who served as British Prime Minister during the First World War...

. Several of her books have received the Poetry Book Society
Poetry Book Society
The Poetry Book Society was founded by T. S. Eliot and friends in 1953. Each quarter the Society selects one recently published collection of poetry for its members. The Society also publishes the quarterly poetry journal Bulletin, and it administers the competition for the annual T. S. Eliot Prize...

 Recommendation. In 1999 Gillian Clarke received the Glyndŵr Award
Glyndwr Award
The Glyndŵr Award is made for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales. It is given by the Machynlleth Tabernacle Trust to pre-eminent figures in music, art and literature in rotation...

 for an "Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales" during the Machynlleth Festival
Machynlleth Festival
The Machynlleth Festival takes place in the Auditorium of The Tabernacle, Machynlleth, in late August every year. During the week eminent performers take part in events ranging from recitals for children to jazz...

, and she was on the judging panel for the 2008 Manchester Poetry Prize
Manchester Poetry Prize
The Manchester Poetry Prize is a literary award celebrating excellence in creative writing. It was launched by Carol Ann Duffy and The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008, and was the first phase of the annual Manchester Writing Competition.Open internationally...

. Clarke reads her poetry for teenagers who are taking their English GCSE school exams. She is part of the GCSE Poetry Live team that also includes John Agard
John Agard
John Agard is an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in the United Kingdom.-Background:...

, Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage CBE is a British poet, playwright, and novelist.-Life and career:Simon Armitage was born in Marsden, West Yorkshire. Armitage first studied at Colne Valley High School, Linthwaite, Huddersfield and went on to study geography at Portsmouth Polytechnic...

, Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy, CBE, FRSL is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain's poet laureate in May 2009...

, Imtiaz Dharker
Imtiaz Dharker
Imtiaz Dharker is a Scottish Muslim, poet, artist and documentary film-maker.- Family and background:She was born in Lahore to Pakistani parents. She was brought up in Glasgow where her family moved when she was less than a year old...

, Moniza Alvi
Moniza Alvi
-Life and education:Moniza Alvi was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She was born to a Pakistani father and a British mother. Her father moved to Hatfield, Hertfordshire in England when she was a few months old. She did not revisit Pakistan until after the publication of her first book of poems - The...

, Grace Nichols
Grace Nichols
Grace Nichols is a Guyanese poet. She was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1950. After working in Guyana as a teacher and journalist, she emigrated to the UK in 1977. Much of her poetry is characterised by Caribbean rhythms and culture, and influenced by Guyanese and Amerindian folklore.Her first...

, Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra is a British poet whose debut collection, Look We Have Coming to Dover! — a title alluding to W. H. Auden's Look, Stranger!, D. H. Lawrence's Look! We have come through! and by epigraph also to Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach' — was published by Faber in February 2007...

 and Choman Hardi
Choman Hardi
Choman Hardi , is a contemporary Kurdish poet, translator and painter. She was born in Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan. In 1975 her family fled to Iran after the Algiers Accord but returned to Iraq after a general amnesty in 1979. They were forced to move again in 1988 during the Anfal campaign...

.

Awards


Gillian Clarke became the third National Poet for Wales
National Poet for Wales
The post of National Poet of Wales was established in May 2005 by Academi – the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Writers. The post is supported by the Arts Council of Wales’ Lottery fund....

 in 2008. In 2010 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and became the second Welsh person to receive the honour. In 2011 she was made a member of the Gorsedd
Gorsedd
A gorsedd plural gorseddau, is a community or coming together of modern-day bards. The word is of Welsh origin, meaning "throne". It is occasionally spelled gorsedh , or goursez in Brittany....

 of Bards.

Books

  • Snow on the Mountain. (Christopher Davies), 1971
  • The Sundial. (Gomer Press / Gwasg Gomer), 1978. ISBN 0-85088-540-X
  • Letter From a Far Country. (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ), 1982
  • Selected Poems. (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ), 1985 ISBN 0-85635-594-1
  • Letting in the Rumour. (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ), 1989 ISBN 0-85635-757-X
  • The King of Britain's Daughter. (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ), 1993. ISBN 1-85754-031-X
  • Collected Poems. (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ), 1997. ISBN 1-85754-335-1
  • Five Fields. (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ), 1998.ISBN 1-85754-401-3
  • The Animal Wall. Illustrated, for children. (Gomer Press / Gwasg Gomer) 1999 ISBN 1-85902-654-0
  • Nine Green Gardens. (Gomer Press / Gwasg Gomer), 2000. ISBN 1-85902-805-5
  • Owain Glyndŵr
    Owain Glyndwr
    Owain Glyndŵr , or Owain Glyn Dŵr, anglicised by William Shakespeare as Owen Glendower , was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales...

    . (National Library of Wales), 2000. ISBN 1-86225-015-4
  • Making the Beds for the Dead (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ) April 2004 ISBN 1-85754-737-3
  • At the Source (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ) May 2008. ISBN 978 1 857549 86 7
  • A Recipe for Water (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    ) April 2009. ISBN 978 1 85754 988 1

External links