Clare’s memoir, The Missing List, is poised at the approaching death of a father who may never acknowledge or resolve family secrets that brought her untold distress in her childhood and into her adult life. His silence could leave her emotionally adrift, searching for freedom from the past, and an ending. Runner-up in the Mslexia Memoir Compeition 2015, the writing is layered and delicate, exploring memory and reflection, illusion and reality, lies and truth. Crafted from ‘a collection of off-cuts’, the book binds together parts of Clare’s own journal, tape-recordings of her father talking about his life, and family scenes from Super 8 home movie footage which her father filmed. She says that writing her story was ‘the most difficult thing I’ve done.’
‘My work explores and interprets worlds of intensity, desire and complication lying beyond and beneath the physical – in bodies, relationships, landscapes, all kinds of places.’
With five poetry publications to her name, Clare has won and been shortlisted for numerous poetry prizes including the Bridport and Seamus Heaney. She has been published in anthologies from Bloodaxe, Bloomsbury, Emma Press, HappenStance, Five Leaves Press and Frogmore Press amongst others. She teaches creative writing for the Open University and for the Autobiography and Life Writing Programme in Brighton. She led the ‘Tools for Writing’ workshops for life prisoners at HMP Shepton Mallet (Outside In project, 2004) and was writer in residence at Woodlands Organic Farm from 2006 to 2008 and at the University of Brighton in 2015.
We welcome Clare with open arms and wish her a happy sojourn while we work with her on her beautiful book. Find out more about Clare on her website, clarebest.co.uk and find her on Twitter: @clarebest1
(Photo by Derek Adams)