Review of ‘Incarnation’ by Clare Pollard at

Clare Pollard found her inclination to poetry early. Her first collection, published nearly twenty years ago, was written while she was still in school.

‘Incarnation’ by Clare Pollard

Since then she has regularly produced bold, critically-acclaimed books, plays and articles that have established her as an engaged member of the UK and international poetry communities.

This has not made her writing cosy. Though perhaps more schooled, the poems in her latest collection are as raw and tender as her earlier incarnations.

Incarnations – of self-hood, motherhood, and ‘other’ (especially males) – fuel the poems in her fifth book from Bloodaxe.

I very much enjoyed getting under the skin of the collection reviewing it for The Poetry School. Here’s a snippet from the review:

“Linguistically, the poems are muscular entities, with a candid diction that highlights our sensitivity to current flash words…

Pollard’s is a gritty reality, but one grounded with a culturally aware, geographically various, and historically wide-ranging sensibility. There are versions of creation myths, fairy tales, mystic poems, and laments for lost contemporaries – from Amy Winehouse to honour killings.

Ultimately, Pollard is an idealist: love (and art) is possible and perhaps redeeming… She believes in knowledge, self-awareness, enquiry and compassion as effective ethical tools.”

To find out more about the collection, read the review at