Jo Clement

Managing Editor

Jo Clement was born in Darlington in 1986. She received a Northern Writers’ Award in 2012. She is Editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine, and founded the imprint Wagtail with support from the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC). In 2021 Butcher’s Dog published Wagtail: The Roma Women’s Poetry Anthology, edited by her. Her poems have been shortlisted for the Bridport, Melita Hume and Troubadour International prizes, and she has written for The Travellers’ Times, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Your Local Arena. She was awarded an inaugural AHRC Northern Bridge scholarship for her PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. She is a Creative Writing Lecturer at Northumbria University, and lives in North Shields.

Her first book-length collection, Outlandish, is published by Bloodaxe Books in 2022, drawing on new work as well as poems from her debut pamphlet Moveable Type (New Writing North, 2020), and from a collaborative walking and writing book, also titled Outlandish, co-authored with Damian Le Bas with drawings by W. John Hewitt, which was commissioned by New Writing North for the 2019 Durham Book Festival.

Author photo: Kev Howard

'Jo Clement writes poems of wonderful imagination, energy, and adventure, combining her magical intelligence with a brilliantly orchestrated language drawn from the words of the Roma and the worlds through which they invisibly travel.’ – David Morley

'It is very rare to find a young poet with such an alert musical ear, able to listen ahead for the shape of a sound yet to be uttered.' – Sean O’Brien

'Here is delight – these poems, rich and strange, brim from ‘the skim/of blood that can’t settle’. Jo Clement’s gifts shine and dazzle: amongst the darting, many-layered music of her imagery and sensuous evocation of northerly landscapes gleams a clear-sightedness politically aware and historically acute. Meaning is interrogated as a riverine process and emerges, movingly, in significances found later. Part urban fable, part re-imagining of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture, these poems are beautifully made to be read and re-read, savoured for their sharp, apple-bite tenderness, their truth and wisdom, their sheer originality.' – Pippa Little

'This is the word of the weathered hand and of the hard, hale youth; the tattered treasure, the grafter and the fetter-breaking wild. These intoxicating and fine-sprung poems instantly place Clement in the front rank of Traveller writers. May they also relight our wonder at the depths of all unsung Englands.' – Damian Le Bas

Jo Clement