My poetry began with the telling of family stories but increasingly the voices and tales of those who have taken
a different or daring path draw me to them.
I am interested in exploring the intricacies of relationships and the inner and outer journeys we take in order to make sense of our lives. Primarily a narrative poet, I take inspiration from the natural world, social history and myth.
Chloe was born in Kent and lives in Yorkshire. She is the author of 'The Waney Edge' and 'Upstart Jugglers:'
There is no one else writing like Chloe Balcomb, no one else who can render huge themes - feminism, death, our life with other animals into such finely observed and delicately wrought vignettes, vibrant with original diction and vocabulary.'
Roselle Angwin, Poet and Author
'Deft descriptions of fearless women. She has a strong narrative line running though her work with a natural rhythm and musicality... while much of her poetry deals with loss and deep feeling, some of it is also very funny. Chloe reads her work exceptionally well, bringing her characters to life.'
Jennifer Grigg, Editor, Green Bottle Press greenbottlepress.com
'This collection presents some elegiac poems of loss, leavened with others possessing a sharp mix of humour and cruel wit. It is one of the most striking I have read this year.'
‘beautiful unshowy language; a precisely controlled tone that allows for an expert build up of narrative suspense.’
Amy Wack, Poetry Editor, Seren Press
'First Walk in Ecclesall Wood', Lovely, Dark and Deep, Grey Hen Press 2021
'Blether', Frogmore Papers, 2020
'The Sisters of St. Hilaire', Face Up to the Sun, Manchester Cathedral Publications 2019
'Equinox', Well Dam, Beautiful Dragons, 2019
'What We Know About Snipe', 'Lepus', Dawn Treader, Indigo Dreams Press, 2019
'Neighbours', The Interpreter's House, Issue 80, 2019
'Glory', All the Sins, Issue 9, Art from History, 2019
'Bohemia', Under the Radar, September, 2018
'What We Did', Not a Drop, Beautiful Dragons, 2017
'My Son the Cockroach', 'Culture', And Other Poems, September, 2017
'The Backcomb Beauties', My Mane Memories, Silver Birch Press, 2016
Recent prizes and commendations
'Diamond Geezer', Long listed Fiction Factory 2021
'Blether', Frogmore Poetry Prize, 2020, Second Runner Up
'Crossing', Elmbridge Literary Competition, 2020
'The Sisters of St Hilaire', Manchester Cathedral Poetry Competition, 2019
'Driving Lessons', The Cannon Poets Sonnet or Not, 2017
'Strange Creatures', Guernsey Literature Festival, 2016
'Advice for Female Funambulists', Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition, 2016
'Thirst', Eunoia Review, 2019
'Flamenco Tat', The Cabinet of Heed, (Issue 24), 2019
Sing for international Women's Day 2021
'The Waney Edge', Bishops House, Sheffield, 2019
'The Waney Edge', Green Bottle Press Launch, Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden, 2019
'The Waney Edge', Off The Shelf, Festival of Words, 2019
'The Waney Edge' Wirksworth Festival, 2019
Female Funambulists, Wirksworth Festival, 2018
Female Funambulists, Off the Shelf, Festival of Words, 2018
Female Funambulists, Frost Fair Performance, 2018
More about me
I spent my childhood in Devon, Nigeria and Kent and have worked in many fields, including gardening, youth work, running a restaurant in France, teaching and consultancy. I am trained in Shiatsu, Bowen and Therapeutic Massage and now work as a writer and bodywork practitioner, in Sheffield.
I have loved listening to and writing stories and poems since childhood, with their magical ability to transport me to another life or experience.
The human body also has many stories to tell and both as a writer and a bodyworker, my role is to be attentive and listen in to what it is truly saying.