Kate Clanchy was born in Glasgow and educated in Edinburgh and Oxford. After working for several years as a teacher in London’s East End, she moved to Oxford. She has been a teacher in state schools for nearly 30 years, and is currently Writer in Residence at the comprehensive school Oxford Spires Academy, where she has nurtured creative talent among the pupils, many of whom have come to the UK as refugees. An anthology of the pupils’ poetry, England: Poems from a School was published by Macmillan in 2018.
Clanchy’s first collection, Slattern, was published in 1996 and won both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Saltire Prize for Scottish First Book of the Year. Newborn (2004) was a collection of poems covering pregnancy, birth and caring for a new baby. Her selected poems were published in 2014 by Picador.
Kate Clanchy was the first City Poet of Oxford, from 2011 to 2013, and was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2018.