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Claire Askew is a poet, editor and educator, born in 1986 and brought up in the rural Scottish Borders.Claire has been writing poetry seriously since 2004, and her work has appeared in numerous major publications including The Guardian, Poetry Scotland, PANK and Popshot. Her work has also been twice selected to appear in the Scottish Poetry Library's "Best Scottish Poems of the Year" anthology (2008 and 2009). In Spring 2011, Red Squirrel Press published Claire's debut pamphlet poetry collection, "The Mermaid and the Sailors," which sold out its first printing within six months. The pamphlet was shortlisted for a 2010 Eric Gregory Award, and a poem from it, "Visiting Nannie Grey", won the 2010 Virginia Warbey Poetry Prize. Claire has received numerous other accolades for her work, including the 2008 Grierson Verse Prize, the 2008 Sloan Prize for Writing in Lowland Scots Vernacular and the 2008 Lewis Edwards Award for Poetry. She was awarded the William Sharpe Hunter Memorial Scholarship for her MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh (from which she graduated summa cum laude in 2009), and in 2009 she was nominated for the Scottish Variety Awards' 'New Scottish Writer' award. Claire also holds a MA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, and she is still with the university, currently reading for a PhD in Creative Writing. Contemporary women's poetry, female literary tradition and the feminist revision of myth and folklore are among her research interests. She is also very interested in counter-culture literature, and the "problem" of making poetry accessible to contemporary audiences. She teaches Creative Writing at the Scottish Universities' International Summer School, based at the University of Edinburgh.Claire also lectures in Literature and Communication at Edinburgh's Telford College. She is passionate about working with young adults and deeply invested in developing their interest in literature and creative writing. From 2007 to 2010 she was the founding Editor in Chief of Read This Magazine, a monthly non-profit literary zine which aimed to promote the work of new, young and emerging writers. The magazine was distributed for free and published the work of over 1,000 brand new writers. Its goal was to bring creative writing to new audiences, and particularly young readers, as well as to encourage the work of those just beginning to take their first steps in the writing world.Read This Magazine spawned Read This Press, a non-profit poetry micropress, in 2009. To date Claire has edited and published five Read This Press titles, including Skin Deep: an anthology of poems on tattoos and tattooing (2009), and most recently Starry Rhymes: 85 Years of Allen Ginsberg (2011). Also a keen performer, Claire is a multiple poetry slam winner, having been awarded the University of Edinburgh's "ReFresher" LitSoc slam two years in a row (2010 and 2011), the Scottish Poetry Library/VoxBox slam (2009) and the StAnza Festival Risk-a-Verse Slam (2011), among others. She is also a slam organiser and live literature promoter, having worked as Residency and Education Director for the London Poetry Festival (2009), and Poetry Co-Ordinator for local collaborative film-poetry project 'this collection' (2009-2011). In 2011 she represented Scotland at the inaugural City2Cities Literature Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and worked on the judging panel for the BBC's Edinburgh Fringe Festival Poetry Slam. She has also read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, StAnza Festival and at the 2010 Scottish Poetry Slam Championships.Claire also writes non-fiction, reviews and academic articles. In 2012 one of her essays was shortlisted for the Feminist and Women's Studies Association Essay Prize. She has also produced pieces for The Observer, Anon, xoJane, The Skinny, and The Scottish Review of Books. She is a regular contributor to The Edinburgh Review. Claire has also run the writing blog onenightstanzas.com for nearly five years.Claire lives in Edinburgh with her partner, concrete poet and fellow lecturer Stephen Welsh, and her extensive collection of manual typewriters.
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A selection of excerpts from published academic and journalism pieces by Claire Askew.
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