Elisabeth Sennitt Clough grew up in Cambridge, England. She has had three books of poetry published. Glass, her debut pamphlet won the inaugural Paper Swans Pamphlet Competition and the 2017 Saboteur Award for Best Pamphlet. Sightings, her debut full collection, written during her MFA at ManMet, was awarded the Michael Schmidt Prize for Best Portfolio. A poem from Sightings was also highly commended in the Forward Prize and published in the Forward Book of Poetry 2018. Elisabeth’s second full collection, At or Below Sea Level, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and a poem from the book won the 2018 Shooter Literary Magazine Poetry Prize.
Elisabeth was a recipient of the Arvon/Jerwood 2016/17 mentorship, the Toast Poets 2017/18 mentorship and two Arts Council ‘Grants for the Arts’ Awards (2016 and 2018). She is a Member of the Society of Authors and the ALCS. She is also founder of the Ely Poetry Society Stanza Group.
Elisabeth is editor of The Fenland Reed. Initially approached to guest-edit Issue Six, Elisabeth is now a permanent editor of the magazine, alongside Jonathan Totman and Mary Livingstone Totman. Additionally, Elisabeth reviews poetry chapbooks and full collections; her reviews have appeared in The North, Sphinx, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Bare Fiction to name a few.
In 1998, Elisabeth studied English and Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University (formerly APU) for her BA. In 2001, she went on to complete an MA at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. She obtained her PhD from the Open University in 2010, where she studied under the supervision of Professor Dennis Walder. In 2013 she undertook a second MA – in Creative Writing with Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she graduated with distinction.
Elisabeth has lived and worked in Jakarta, Indonesia; Panama City, Florida; Fresno, California; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Maastricht, Netherlands, where she was a member of the Maastricht Writers’ Group.
Elisabeth counts Antjie Krog, Dorianne Laux, Corinne Clegg Hales and Les Murray among her poetic influences. She writes poetic memoir and narrative poetry, sometimes with a domestic theme. Yet, as Rebecca Goss suggests, ‘you will not find anything benign or cosy here. Sennitt Clough makes us look at things, not always comfortable things, using language that startles and excites.’
Publications include Glass (2016, Paper Swans Press), Sightings (2016, Pindrop Press) and At or Below Sea Level (2019, Paper Swans Press). Elisabeth has had poems published in The Rialto, New Welsh Review, MsLexia, Poem, Magma, the Bloodaxe anthology, Hallelujah for 50ft Women, the Forward Prize Anthology, Stand, Other Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears and The Cannon’s Mouth (see Publications for a comprehensive list). She has won, been placed or shortlisted for a number of competitions (see Competitions).
Elisabeth Sennitt Clough’s book-in-progress is titled The Cold Store. Similar to her previous two collections, The Cold Store examines the pyschogeography of the Fens, but through the metaphoric lens of one of the largest cold store facilities in the nation, located in the flat landscape of the Fens. The Cold Store is dark, haunting and unapologetic in its exploration of power relations.