School of Arts

Dr John Wedgwood Clarke

BA, MA, DPhil (York), AGSMD


John Wedgewood Clarke

Email: john.clarke@hull.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1482 466779
Room: Larkin 283


John Wedgwood Clarke is a poet and prose non-fiction writer who also regularly collaborates on interdisciplinary projects with artists, curators and scientists. Recent residences, commissions and projects have included a Leverhulme Trust Artist’s Residency at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, University of Hull; a ‘Celebrating Place’ commission from Chrysalis Arts; and an Arts Council writing award for a project titled ‘Dump’, about landfill sites, midden and mounds. In 2016 he was commissioned by Surrey Arts to write a new sequence of poems for the Greensand Way.

He is currently working on a major new Hull2017 poetry commission about the Humber estuary for Invisible Dust's Offshore Exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery and Maritime Museum, opening April 2017. He is collaborating on this with Dr Rob Mackay, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University, part of their on-going collaborative exploration of the relationship between poetry and sound art that began with a commission for the Arts Council-funded project 'Dictionary Stone'.

He is also lead artist on the Hull2017 No Limits education project 'Twinned' working with children in Freetown Sierra Leone and Hull, and delivering CPD in creative writing for teachers as part of CAPE UK's contribution to No Limits.

Dr Clarke recently presented the BBC1 & BBC4 documentary 'Books That Made Britain', and has further TV projects lined up for 2017.

Whitbread Prize-winning poet Bernard O’Donoghue said about his first collection, Ghost Pot:

'What gives John Wedgwood Clarke's poems of the North-East coast of England their distinction is the expression of the findings of an intently observing eye through an exceptional lyrical technique. Whether the subject is sea-life or shoreline or history, these beautifully crafted poems tease out the essential meaning in things and places. Ghost Pot is a masterpiece that rewards continual rereading.' 

New Writing North chose Ghost Pot for Read Regional 2015. He was one of three poets, selected from the North of England area, whose work is being promoted to libraries, literary festivals and schools throughout the region during 2015.

His new collection of poems will be published in May 2017.

Co-artistic director of the Cultural Olympiad project Sea Swim. John is a curatorial advisor for their Arts Council touring exhibition ‘Head above Water: A Swimmer’s Perspective of the Coast’, which is currently touring venues in the UK, funded by Arts Council, England. In 2014 he was lead writer for York Curiouser, a major out-door visual arts exhibition funded by Arts Council, England.

You can watch John talking about his education work with the Laurence Sterne trust here:

John has blogged for the Poetry Society about the relationship between water and poetry. You can read John’s blog here.  With Dr Stewart Mottram, John accompanied Claire Balding on a literary ramble for R4's celebration of National Poetry Day.

While primarily a poet, he has signed with Rogers Coleridge and White for a prose work, with which he’s currently engaged.

John Wedgwood Clarke is also UK and Ireland Editor at Arc Publications, and a member of Arc’s board of directors. 

His work has been shortlisted for the National Poetry Competition, The Manchester Poetry Prize and  The Strokestown International.

After leaving school John trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Speech and Drama, and has attempted to retain an actor’s sense of stagecraft, and a keen sense of how performance texts live in the breath and movement of the performer. This history of practical engagement with embodied literature continues to inform his work.  He completed a DPhil on ‘Objectivist’ poets and poetics at the University of York.

Selected Publications

Poetry Collections

  • Ghost Pot (Valley Press, 2013) (Selected for Read Regional 2015 & as PBS 'Emerging Voice')

Poetry Pamphlets

  • In Between: Poems for the Snickets of York (York Curiouser/Valley Press, 2014) (Launch: June 13, King’s Manor, York)  
  • Sea Swim (Valley Press, 2012)

Poems in Magazines

  • ‘Petrichor’ & ‘Waste Oil Tank’, Antigonish Review (Autumn/Winter 2016)tbc
  • ‘A Suite for Artificial Voices’, Eborakon (Autumn 2016) tbc
  • ‘Knossos’, The North 57 (Autumn/ Winter 2016) tbc
  • ‘Swimming Lesson’, The North 55 (January 2016)
  • 'Renovations', Poetry Ireland Review (Summer 2016)
  • 'An Education', 'Heap of Doors', Rialto (Autumn 2015)
  • 'Laryngectomy', Magma 63 (2015)
  • 'Peter Lanyon', Oxford Poetry XV.ii (2015)
  •  'Pilot Island’, PN Review 223 (2015)
  • 'Barber', Butcher's Dog, 4, (October 2014)
  • ‘Krill’ and ‘Diatoms’, POEM, International English Language Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 5 (Spring, 2014)
  • ‘Landslip’, The Wolf Magazine, 29, (Spring, 2014)
  • ‘Black Dog Whelk Feeds on a Barnacle’, The New Stateman (14-20 February 2014)
  • ‘Dead Man’s Fingers’, ‘Field Notes’, ‘Gurnard’ in Poetry Salzburg Review, 25 (2014)
  • ‘Sleeping Child’, The Reader, 51 (2013)
  • ‘Lightships’ The SHOp  (2013)
  • ‘Two Dissections’, Poetry Wales, 49: 1 (2013)
  • ‘Identification’, Poetry Review, 103.1 (2013)
  • ‘Millport Observations’, PN Review 210, 39:4 (2013)
  • ‘Starfish’, Guardian poem-of-the-week (December 2012)
  • ‘Ghost Pot’, Rialto (Autumn 2012)
  • ‘Sandside’, The Wolf, 25, (2011)
  • ‘Limpet’, Poetry London online (2011)
  • ‘House’, Poetry Wales, 47: 1 (2011)
  • ‘Stubble’, National Poetry Competition: Winner’s Pamphlet (2011)
  • ‘Hospital and other poems’, Iota, 88/89 (2010)
  • ‘Flamborough’ London Magazine, (Oct/Nov, 2010)
  • ‘Catch’, London Magazine, (Aug/Sept, 2010)
  • ‘Huggate’ Fulcrum, 6 (2008)

Poems in Anthologies

  • MAP: Poems after William Smith's Geological Map of 1815, ed. Michael McKimm. London: Worple 2015.
  • Best of British Poetry 2012, Cromer: Salt, 2012.
  • Under Travelling Skies, Hull: Kingston Press, Hull, 2012
  • Postcards from Hull, Hull: Humbermouth, 2011
  • Hide, Hull: Humbermouth, 2011

Collaborative/ Joint Publications

  • Lara Goodband & John Wedgwood Clarke, Writing about Art: Literary Connections in the Harrogate Fine Art Collection, with a contribution from A.S. Byatt. The Mercer Art Gallery, 2015.   


  • 'On Ungrounded Ground: A Poet on the Dump’, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice 8.2&3 (Bristol: Intellect Journals, 2016)
  • ‘A Gift of Bricks: Silence and the Poetry of George Oppen’ PN Review 185, 35: 3, pp. 33-36.
  • Chapter in: Who is it that can tell me who I am, by Jane Haynes (London: Constable & Robinson, 2009), pp. 161-179.
  • ‘Nets of Sound’ The Reader, 12 (2003), pp. 29-32.
  • ‘Vestigia and Relics at Shandy Hall’, Writing in Education 54 (2011), pp.51-54.
  • ‘Like Gloves for Tongues’, Writing in Education 30 (2003), pp.15-20.

Selected Exhibitions , Installations and Text Art


  • Itinerary/Resounding Mulgrave (with Dr Rob McKay and Tariq Emam) performed at Balance-Unbalance, 2015 at Arizona State University:
  • Itinerary/Resounding Mulgrave (with Dr Rob McKay and Tariq Emam) performed at International Festival for Innovation in Music Composition, 2015, Leeds College of Music
  • Itinerary/Resounding Mulgrave (with Dr Rob McKay and Tariq Emam) performed at BEAST FEaST, 2015, Birmingham University.


  • 'Resounding Mulgrave', Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Museums Trust
  • 'In Between', Yorkcuriouser, City of York


  • ‘Sea Wall’ (Film), 60th Anniversary Celebrations of National Poetry Library, Souh Bank Centre, 29th October.


  • ‘Sea Wall’ (AV installation) iFIMpAC conference, Leeds College of Music
  • ‘Sea Wall’ (AV installation) TypeDEF conference, Sheffield University
  • ‘Sea Wall’ (AV installation) New York University
  • ‘Sea Wall’ (AV installation) Toronto New Music Festival


  • ‘Sea Swim’ Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art
  • ‘Sea Swim’ York Art Gallery (selected works)s
  • ‘Sea Swim’ Shandy Hall, Coxwold


  • Shop of Priceless Things (The Old Burger King/Town Hall, Rotherham)
  • Leeds Junction Houdini in a Box commissioned by Leeds Metropolitan University. Produce in collaboration with Electric Angel
  • Land of Poetry 'Scarborough Harbour’ printed on 3m billboard on the side of Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank Centre, London, as part of Festival of Britain Anniversary Celebrations.


Research interests include:

  • Creative writing and ‘text art’ in public-art and gallery contexts
  • Poetry and science
  • The literary memoir
  • British and American Modernist poetics of the 1930s
  • The poetry and prose of place, ecology, environmentalism
  • The found, collaboratively made, and procedural text


Undergraduate Teaching

  • 14108 Writing Through Voice and Form
  • 14175 Writing for a Living (Convenor)
  • 14076 Creative Writing Skills
  • 14043 British and Irish Poetry: 1950 to the Present (Convenor)
  • 14158 Discovering Voices
  • 14626 Facts into Art Nonfiction Come Alive (Convenor) 
  • 14142 Experimental Writing (Convenor)
  • 14195 Collaborative Arts: Creative Entrepreneurship (Convenor)

MA Teaching

  • 14160 Reading Like a Writer
  • 14159 Creative Nonfiction

PhD First Supervisor

Catherine Sadler: Bring out your Dead: Poetry, Mourning, Place (FASS Scholarship) completion 2017 (F/T)

Rachael Allen: Financial Environments and Ecological Incentives in Poetry: a critical-creative investigation (Maritime Institute Scholarship) completion 2018 (F/T)

Lesley Harrison: Mapping the Edge: a practice-led exploration of poetries of place of the North Sea Coast. (FASS Scholarship) completion 2018 (F/T)

Wendy Pratt: The Lost Voices of the North Sea: a practice-led poetic exploration of the identity of the North Sea. (P/T)

Julie Corbett: The Holderness Moby Dick: a practice-led poetic investigation of the significance of the Holderness Coast (P/T)


Employability and Engagement Coordinator


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