Quick & Quirky Questions with A C Clark

A C Clarke has published five full collections and six pamphlets. Two of the latter, Owersettin and Drochaid, were in collaboration with Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton. Her fifth full collection, A Troubling Woman, came out in 2017. She was one of four winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War Baby. She has been working on an extensive series of poems about Paul and Gala Éluard, later Gala Dalí, and the Surrealist circles in which they moved. The first set of these was published as a pamphlet by Tapsalteerie in 2021. In 2022 she has been involved with other writers and artists in a project inspired by Gartnavel Royal Hospital and initiated by Gillean McDougall.

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I was an unmarried mother (as they were then known) in the sixties 
  2. I grew up in London and still think of myself as a Londoner 
  3. I am still unmarried but have lived with my partner, the artist Colin Robertson, for thirty-four years 
  4. I am left-handed

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

I don’t really think like that – but if I had to choose, perhaps 60 when I retired from work and was able to devote time to writing and when I still had plenty of energy for the new opportunities – including walking in Scotland – that opened up!

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Fictional: King Lear, who also wanted to throw off responsibilities and ‘unburdened crawl towards death’. I hope to do so in a less dramatic manner! Famous person: Jean Rhys, who didn’t care what people thought of her and was still writing, more brilliantly than ever, in her eighties. I could also mention for similar reasons the artists Louise Bourgeois and Paula Rego, who has recently died.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

My glasses.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Writing poetry.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

I used to be a lecturer in medieval English literature.

Read A C Clark’s runners up entry to our flash competition for May!

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