Head On is Clare Shaw's second collection of poems from Bloodaxe, following on from her highly anticipated debut Straight Ahead. Head On interweaves the political and the personal, beginning and ending with the cyclical necessity to speak out. This book speaks in equal measures, depicting love and tenderness juxtaposed with violence and brutality in a precise and uncomromising langauge. Clare Shaw speaks directly to the reader with her unflinching focus and startlingly honest delivery.
‘The energy and vivacity of Clare Shaw’s writing, its colloquial power, frame of reference and sheer sound is enough to mark her out as one of the most talented young poets to appear in recent years. Hers is a natural gift that speaks as it sings.’ – George Szirtes
‘Hold your breath when you read Clare Shaw’s poems. Startling, searing, scorching, this is an emotional blast of a book’ – Jackie Kay
'One of the best new young readers on the circuit' – Carol Ann Duffy
Clare Shaw was born in 1972 in Burnley, her years in Liverpool, studying politics were marked by frequent admissions to psychiatric wards. In her work, postgraduate study, publications and activism, she has become a recognised voice on women's mental health issues. She lives in West Yorkshire, and works in a self-harm awareness training partnership with her sister. She has two collections from Bloodaxe, Straight Ahead (2006), which was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex New Writers' Award for Poetry, and attracted a Forward Prize Highly Commended for Best Single Poem, and Head On (2012).