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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Jenna Clake joined the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law in June 2018. Jenna holds a BA (Hons) in English with Creative Writing, an MA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D in Creative Writing, all achieved at the University of Birmingham. Her doctoral thesis, 'A Noisy Situation': The Feminine and Feminist New Absurd in Twenty-first Century British and American Poetry, defined and characterised a new poetry aesthetic - the New Absurd. Jenna's research interests include the relationship between poetry and popular culture, the prose poem and lyric essay, and the Absurd in poetry.

Jenna is a member of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, and a member of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law Research Innovation Subcommittee. She is the Northern Bridge Consortium's Insitutional Subject Contact for Creative Writing.

Research interests

As a poet, Jenna's writing has been published widely in journals of international repute, including Poetry Review, The Rialto, The Stinging Fly, and Oxford Poetry. Her debut poetry collection, Fortune Cookie (2017), was awarded the Melita Hume Prize and shortlisted for a Somerset Maugham Award. In 2018, Jenna received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Additionally, she was shortlisted for the inaugral Rebecca Swift Women Poets' Prize, commended in the University of Hertfordshire Single Poem Prize, and placed second in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. A pamphlet of her experimental prose poems, CLAKE / Interview For, was published by Verve Poetry Press in 2018. 

Jenna additionally reviews poetry for Poetry London, Poetry School, The Poetry Review, and The Compass.

External Research Collaborations

Jenna has worked with Dr Richard O'Brien to organise a conference designed to promote cross disciplinary dialogue and collaboration: Poetry and TV (2018), a symposium exploring the complex relationships between the two mediums. Follow-up conferences are being organised and will include: Poetry and Comedy, and Poetry and Social Media. 

Jenna is additionally working with Dr Luke Kennard on a collaborative, creative response to John Ashbery's long poem 'Litany'. Their response will include recordings of the poem, and visual art to accompany performances of the new work. They presented a section of their project at the New Work and the New York School Conference (University of Birmingham, 2018). 

Jenna's current research project focuses on cetacean conservation, marine mammals, and whale watching. Through writing residencies with ORCA and the Natural History Society of Northumbria, Jenna will be developing a new collection of poems, and engaging wider communities with conservation efforts and the natural world through writing workshops. 

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Jenna currently teaches on Teesside's Creative Writing BA, and English Studies and Creative Writing BA, including the following modules: Practising Poetry, Creative Writing Lab: Writing and Audience, Creative Writing Lab: Writing for Social Change, Creative Writing Lab: Experimental Writing, Life Writing, Critical Practice, and Creative Writing Project. Jenna also teaches across modules on Teesside's MA Creative Writing and MA Creative Writing by Distance Learning.

PhD and Research Opportunities

Jenna welcomes enquiries from prospective research students interested in the relationships between poetry and popular culture, poetry and technology, modern poetry aesthetics and movements, the prose poem, the Surreal and the Absurd, and poetry as feminine and feminist writing. She is second supervisor for two PhD students.

As part of the Northern Bridge Consortium, Jenna is accepting expressions of interest for a Collaborative Doctoral Award entitled: 'Systemic Inclusion: Representation and Diversity in UK Literary Festivals', during which the student will work in partnership with Sabotage Reviews.

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Research Output

Elegy for Balto from the Bottom of a Frozen Lake: Anthology of Contemporary British Poetry

Clake, J., Oct 2019, (Accepted/In press) 1 p. Platypus Press.

Research output: Other contribution

I try to make sense of things by standing very close to windows

Clake, J., 28 May 2019, NCLA.

Research output: Other contribution

Review: 'Counter Reform' by Charlotte Newman

Clake, J., 5 Mar 2019, Poetry School.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

The Last Apple

Clake, J., 9 Oct 2019, In : Poetry Review. 109, 3, p. 88 92 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Press / Media

'Challenging, bold & ambitious' - the 2018 Authors' Awards Shortlists

Jenna Clake


1 Media contribution

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I Fell Out With The Line Break: An Interview With Jenna Clake

Jenna Clake


1 Media contribution

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ORCA Appoint Writer in Residence

Jenna Clake


1 Media contribution

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Poetry Competition: University of Hertfordshire Single Poem Prize

Jenna Clake


1 Media contribution

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SoA shares £98,000 in ‘night of riches’ at 2018 Authors’ Awards

Jenna Clake


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media