Clare Pollard

One of Owen Sheers’ selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“For several decades, since her late teens, Clare Pollard has kept her poetic finger on the pulse of the world, writing poems of fierce love about the full scope of contemporary life from the intimacy of motherhood and the divided streets of London to elegies for the victims of honour killings and the climate crisis. Wonderfully skilled and with a rare lyrical gift, her poems ask today the questions the rest of us will ask tomorrow.”

– Owen Sheers

Poet, editor, critic. Looking at the stories we tell ourselves.

Clare Pollard has published five collections of poetry, most recently Incarnation (Bloodaxe, 2017) and a pamphlet, The Lives of the Female Poets (Bad Betty Press, 2019). Her play The Weather (Faber, 2004) premiered at the Royal Court Theatre. Translation projects include a new version of Ovid’s Heroines (Bloodaxe, 2013) which she toured as a one-woman show. Clare is the editor of Modern Poetry in Translation, and poetry editor for The Idler. Her latest book is the non-fiction title Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children’s Picture Books (Fig Tree, 2019).

For Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children’s Picture Books

‘When I read Fierce Bad Rabbits, I thought, why has no one written this book before? But Clare Pollard has done so superbly – it is perceptive, illuminating, scholarly but at the same time entertaining. It should be essential reading for every thinking parent.’ – Penelope Lively

‘Delightful. As good a guide as you could hope for. . . A happy reconnection to the serious joys of childhood.’ – Erica Wagner, Harper’s Bazaar

‘Delight is the secret ingredient in poet and playwright Clare Pollard’s captivating first book.’ – The Observer

‘Pollard is a poet, and her prose is stunning, as pellucid as that of the picture books she adores. She compares the seemingly impossible challenges of early motherhood with going to sea in a sieve, writes with a joy that is luminous of, “those sudden seconds – your child lifts a flap and hisses like a snake for the first time” […] Essential reading for anyone with a child, or whoever was a child, in Fierce Bad Rabbits, Pollard finally gives picture books the gravitas they deserve.’ – Marianne Levy, I News

‘A gem . . . hard to put down. The combination of vast scholarly research and witty writing makes for a thoroughly enjoyable book. Pollard has managed to dissect all our favourite stories with her scalpel, while leaving their magic intact.’ – Spectator

‘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.

‘I’m so honoured to be part of this conversation about how writing might shape our future. I’ve worked across many genres, but all my work looks at the stories we tell ourselves, from children’s picture books to classical myths to the literary ‘canon’, and asks how those stories shape society.’



Non fiction

Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children’s Picture Books (Fig Tree, 2019)


The Weather (Faber, 2004)


With Bloodaxe:

The Heavy-Petting Zoo (1998)
Bedtime (2002)
Look, Clare! Look! (2005)
Changeling (2011)
Ovid’s Heroines (2013)
Incarnation (2017)

Pamphlet with Bad Betty Press:
The Lives of the Female Poets

Contact Clare



Instagram: poetclare

twitter: @poetclare


Lutyens & Rubinstein


Fig Tree Books (Penguin Random House)