About Jack Clemo


Jack & Ruth Clemo

Jack Clemo and his wife Ruth       Photo: Tricia Porter

Jack Clemo’s extraordinary life and insights made him one of the most interesting and intriguing of British poets before he died in 1994. His work combined an uncompromising Christian mysticism with stark images of the Cornish China Clay area.

Jack Clemo, ’Poet of the Clay’, was one of Britain’s foremost poets.

Labelled ’one of the most original writers of our time’ by the Sunday Times, his work combined an uncompromising Christian mysticism with stark images of the working-class Cornwall he loved so much. ’His visual sense and musical ear would be remarkable in any poet ... we can truly call him a visionary poet’ (Elizabeth Jennings) and this vision is all the more remarkable because Jack Clemo had been blind for 25 years and deaf for 40.

Jack Clemo and Arts Centre Group


Jack Clemo Sculpture

Jack was a member of Arts Centre Group for many years. When he died in 1994 the decision was made to inaugurate an annual poetry competition in his memory. A bequest was left to the ACG by Jack and was used to commission a sculpture from fellow ACG member Iain Cotton, made from Cornish stone, which is held by the winner of the competition for each year.

The competition continues to attract entries from around the UK. See here for more about this year’s competition.

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