Poet #3 – CLARE BEST
Join Clare Best, Isobel Dixon, Alan Gillis, Eliza Kentridge, Rob A. Mackenzie and Tessa Berring at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, on Wednesday 17 August, 7pm for a prompt 7:30 reading start, to finish at 9:30 – 3 poets in each half, with a short interval for wine and book buying. The evening is free, but donations are welcome. Sign up on Eventbrite or Facebook.
The Fruitmarket Gallery is right by Waverley Station: 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF - View Map
The poets will read new work and from recent collections, and the night will include some original poems from the poets inspired by the work of Damián Ortega in the gallery’s current exhibition. Damián Ortega is one of the most prominent artists of the new Mexican generation and for The Fruitmarket Gallery’s summer exhibition, Ortega has made new sculptures, mostly from clay, focusing on how the forces of nature – wind, water, earth and fire – act on the earth both independently of and in relationship to humans.
Here’s an introduction to another of our six poets, Clare Best:
Clare Best’s first full collection, Excisions, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize, 2012. Other poetry publications include Treasure Ground (HappenStance 2010), Breastless (Pighog 2011) and CELL (Frogmore Press 2015). Clare’s prose memoir was runner-up in the Mslexia Memoir Competition 2015. Springlines, her collaborative project with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, explores hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the South of England – work from this project was shown at Glyndebourne in summer 2015 and there will be further exhibitions across Kent, Sussex and Hampshire over the next two years. Clare has been a bookbinder, a bookseller and an editor. She is currently an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing for the Open University, and in 2015 was one of two Writers in Residence at the University of Brighton.
The Aftermath Inspector
The boy wakes to the red call in the green night.
Unmoving on his narrow bed, he hears
his father run downstairs to fix quick tea, and then
his steady dressing – overalls, gauntlets, waders –
according to what kind of aftermath it is.
Hours until he’s back, hours the boy wonders
how many yards of buckled track, how many carriages.
He imagines arclights, inspectors gathering screws
and bolts, identifying scattered parts.
Later, his father props the waders in the shed
and sits. Resting, he says. The boy stays close,
waits for him to search his bag. A trophy from the site.
Over the years he’s brought three merlin feathers,
the cracked skull of a hare, one perfect ammonite,
a roe buck’s antler (velvet still attached)
and now this grey stick with the sway of a swan’s neck.
The boy watches his father place the keepsake
on the store-room shelf, he sees him
climb the stairs to wash, and dress
in other clothes for other work, as people do
who witness engines burst open in the dark.
Clare blogs at selfportraitwithoutbreasts.wordpress.com
And come and hear more at the Fruitmarket Gallery!