Stephen Claughton was born in 1951 and grew up in Manchester. He read English at Oxford and worked for many years as a civil servant in London. Twice nominated for the Forward Best Single Poem Prize, his poetry has appeared in both print and online magazines, including Agenda, Atrium, The High Window, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Interpreter’s House, London Grip, Magma, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Poetry Shed and The Warwick Review. His first pamphlet, The War with Hannibal, was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2019.
His second pamphlet, The 3-D Clock, was published by Dempsey & Windle in March 2020.
'The poems here are straightforwardly anecdotal, relating aspects of his mother's increasing dememtia, how he deals with the loss of himself in her receding memory, while capturing the poignancy of all else lost. Having worked on geriatric wards, and said a similar goodbye to one parent, I can vouchsafe the accuracy of his down-to-earth observations.'
Sam Smith in The Journal, Oct 2020
Carole Bromley comments upon The 3D Clock:
'The poems in this pamphlet will be familiar territory for those of us who have lost a relative to dementia. Stephen Claughton traces his mother’s descent into the nightmare of forgetfulness with wit, affection and considerable skill and these are powerful, moving poems, all the more effective because of the simplicity of form and language. We glimpse the relationship as it used to be and move with the writer into a reluctant acceptance of the changes brought about by this devastating illness. It brought a tear to my eye.'
'This moving sequence of poems documents the painful everyday life of a woman with dementia, as seen through the eyes of her son. Claughton shows us what it is like to navigate the landscape of this illness, this fragile world where “everyone makes sense of their own reality”. He does so with honest poems that gain in power as you read on and resonate like aftershocks once you’ve closed the book.'
Thomas Ovans comments on The 3-D Clock in London Grip:
'... the narrative is a sad one since the poems recount the author’s experience of losing his mother to dementia; but the tone is far from relentlessly bleak. There is compassion and empathy throughout and even some recognition of the rueful humour to be found in misunderstandings and incongruities.'
'... these poems are remarkable for their clarity and lucidity. I would recommend this warm and humane collection as a gift, if you think the recipient would appreciate it, that might help carers and relatives through this very challenging passage of life.' — Greg Freeman, Write Out Loud
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