Claire Walker

Claire Walker

Claire is a poet, writer and editor based in Worcestershire. Her poetry has been published widely, in magazines and websites including Poetry Birmingham Literary JournalThe Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears, Prole, And Other Poems and The Poetry Shed, and in anthologies such as The Chronicles of Eve (Paper Swans Press) and The Pocket Poetry Book of Love (Paper Swans Press).

She is the author of three poetry pamphlets – The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile (V. Press, 2015), Somewhere Between Rose and Black (V. Press, 2017 – shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the 2018 Saboteur Awards) and Collision (Against the Grain Press 2019).

In August 2020, V. Press published Hierarchy of Needs: A Retelling – a co-authored poetry pamphlet with Charley Barnes.

Claire is Co-Editor, with Holly Magill, of Atrium webzine. Atrium publishes a new poem every Tuesday and Friday, with a Featured Publication segment on the first Sunday of each month, to showcase a new or recently published pamphlet, collection or anthology.


How We Will Read The Maps
We will uncrumple each piece,
lay them out across the table,
set four stones, keep every corner safe.
Here he will show me, here, and here
nautical miles sailed will swirl
beneath his thumbprints, and I will feel
seasick for the span of his hands.

He will point to the deepest places,
nights where water swallowed coasts,
where storms stretched wild arms
and islands were lost.
He will signpost markers on his body
where waves swarmed over, battered the hull.

I will turn the lantern lower,
steady his face in the lull of our room.
Breeze will sway outside our window,
a gentle touch against an inland sky.
Here, I will show him, here, and here, is home.


So much mourning.
We brooch it over our hearts,
wear it tight around throats.

We fold into our rosaries,
each bead a black prayer
shovelled through aching fingers.

This type of coal smokes
around our wrists,
forges itself into chains.

We have mined so long
even gemstones grow brittle
against our grief. It splits,
cracks like bark in a blaze.