about me

Hello and welcome! I’m Claire HM (she/they), a teacher, poet and a fiction writer living in my hometown of Birmingham, UK, and I have an invitation for you…

I invite you to make and listen to stories that a nice womxn doesn’t tell.

My novella How to Bring Him Back will be published by Fly on the Wall press in October 2021. Set in a seedier side of 90s Birmingham, the story is written as a story framed by a spell to let go of the past and follows Cait as she stumbles between two men, drifting further from the things she wants. Do not read this if you are offended by blackout drinking, outdoor sex, gratuitous use of word f*ck and the possibility of magic in the mundane. Otherwise you can read more about How to Bring Him Back here.

This alchemy of spell casting and story making is very important to me as a self-proclaimed hag. Think of the term as ‘witch plus’ – I am for sure a sorcière and tarotista, but hag also claims my emerging crone-hood and the surface ugliness of the experiences that I write about.

I channel my creativity through writing as an act of self healing, and I see this as an invitation for others to create the stories they need to access healing too. I write about identity within ‘othered’ perspectives, desire and consent, reclamation of femmes and sorceresses from Classical mythologies, and the politics and privilege of class and language. Most of all, I delight in exploring the taboo – there is a magical charge in writing about that which the over-culture tells us is not a suitable subject, and questioning structures has the potential to destabilise power.

For those of you who feel reassured by credentials I offer you my evidence of credit in the straight world: First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature and a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training from Birmingham City University, a Masters degree in Creative Writing with Distinction from the Open University, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies from the University of Birmingham.

It’s taken me a while to get here, though. In 2018 I had an essay published in the anthology, I Wrote it Anyway, about my experience of accessing university and the long journey of finding the confidence to write as a woman in her forties from a working class background. (You can read it here)

In 2020, after a hiatus of ten years of self-doubt, I started sending my work out to journals and publishers. Since then in addition to a growing sense of confidence and purpose in my identity as a writer, I’ve had poetry published in Black Flowers Literary Journal, streetcake 68 +72, Mooky Chick, Coven Journal and in Cape Magazine. I keep a page here that links to my writing and interviews published online. I’ve also written a poetry pamphlet Ask Those Birds that takes the motif of birds, and other winged creatures, to chart a journey of self acceptance through a piecing together of a personal mythology of desire. I hope to find a publisher for these poems in 2021.

Now, do you remember my invitation to you?

I invite you to make and listen to stories that a nice womxn doesn’t tell.

And why did I invite you? I promise it wasn’t just so you would read my introduction, my poetry, my novella ~ though of course I’d be honoured if you did.

I invite you to make and listen to stories that a nice womxn doesn’t tell, so that we can heal and release ~ and make ourselves anew in political consciousness and an emerging sense of our own wholeness.

This is the magic I have found.

I wish this magic for you.

I wish this magic for all of us.