Claire Trévien

100 poems in one day & other oddities

Month: August, 2014

100 Poems 2014: the aftermath

Many thanks to everyone who has supported me once again in writing 100 poems for Refuge. My JustGiving page closes today and I’m £5 short of £1000 which is incredible! As a group, with Cat Conway, Hel Gurney and Tori Truslow, we’ve managed to raise £2000, which is staggering! Their donation pages will remain open for longer if you’d like to donate.

The poems are now offline, but you might see them again, either as a postcard if you claimed one, or published somewhere, almost certainly after a good edit!

As before, it’s been both exhilarating and daunting  to publish such unpolished poems online – I’m looking forward to a more leisurely pace of writing now though!

Thank you again,

Claire x



Have you claimed your #refugepoetry postcard?

Hi everyone!

A little over a week has gone by since the challenge and I am preparing both my return to England and the posting of the postcards to those who want them. As a reminder, you can claim any and as many as you want (as long  as you’ve donated here). I’ll be claiming postal addresses soon, and the online versions will disappear after 27th….

These are the ones claimed so far, if your name doesn’t appear and you thought you were getting one, do comment below the relevant poem/postcard clearing stating that you’re claiming it!

Claimed postcards

#94 ‘Swimming in Sauce’: for Claire S.

#88 ‘Oil on Panel’: for Carrie B.

#87 ‘Something Bit Me’: for Natalya A.

#85 ‘Stories Under the Corset’: for Gillian P.

#82 ‘Take care… the water’s full of sharks’: for Ruth S.

#76 ‘Bigoudenes’: for Kathy P.

#70 ‘The Nurse Remembers’: for Sarah J.

#67 ‘Too large a ghost’: for Mark A.O.

#54 ‘Splendour in the Graveyard’: for Lavinia

#53 ‘A Brick Remembers’: for Hel

#53 ‘On a Forthcoming Marriage’: for Louise L.

#46 ‘The Colour Yellow in post-Victorian Accessories’: for Amy K.

#45 ‘Brain Cake’: for Helen W.

#43 ‘Green Terrapin/Blue Water’: for Susie

#35 ‘Remind me to thank John for a lovely week-end’: for Rhys

#32 ‘Stab Variation’: for Ben

#20 ‘Full Tilt’: for Eleanor T.

#16 ‘Margot’: for Annik C.

#7 ‘La Chevre’: for Clouds




Welcome to the #100poems challenge 2014!

Here is the rundown: I am writing 100 poems on postcards on 15th August to raise money for Refuge (if you’re wondering why, read here). Three awesome poets are also taking part in challenges that day, check them out here. The poems will start appearing below this post tomorrow.

Do you want a postcard?

  • Claim it! Write a comment below the poem/postcard that you like. First come first served. I’ll post it to you once I’m back in the UK (27th).
  • Please donate, even if it’s just 10p!

How can you help?

  • Suggest a title! or a prompt! or a weird constraint! You can do that on twitter, or as a comment here, or when you donate.
  • Help spread the word about what we’re doing! We’re using the hashtag #refugepoetry


One more sleep before the 100 poem challenge begins!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far, either to me and/or to my team-mates, we’re all fundraising for a common cause, and I really hope our efforts can make a difference. If you’d like to donate, it’s not too late, click here.

I’ve got my postcards at the ready as well as some words I’ve cut out from the English magazines I could find here (I ❤ English Junior, in case you’re wondering), plus there’s the leftover of an Ayn Rand I’d already desecrated two years ago by wallpapering part of my wall with it, so that should come in handy as erasure/censorship poetry….

The biggest challenge I think is to deal with the technical side alongside the creative, i.e writing poems on computer, hand-writing them on postcard, taking pictures, uploading them with suitable tags etc to here. I might end up doing them in batches to see if that’s more efficient. It might give my brain a bit of a break too…

Anyhow, just going to create a ‘sticky’ post if I can, with all info on it, including how to claim a postcard, and then settle down for the evening. Thanks again to everyone for their support, and I hope you enjoy my flailing tomorrow! 


As a distraction from my impending #refugepoetry challenge and the realization that we are over halfway into #readwomen2014, an initiative led by Joanna Walsh to change our reading habits, I thought I’d do a haphazard list of suggestions. These are completely idiosyncratic, I just woke up with an urge to share a couple of names, so here they are.

Poetry for a friend going through a difficult time at a hospital

I found myself playing the role of poetry-prescriber on Friday for a friend looking for poetry recommendations for a friend about to undergo chemotherapy. This was an interesting challenge and made me realize how hard it must be to find the right poetry book when you’re not ‘in the know’. Google ‘inspirational’ and ‘funny’ poetry and you’ll get an onslaught of trite rhyming sweets rather than the substance you’re after. If in doubt, ask a poet, eh? If you want to know what she left with by the way, they were: Ruth Padel’s Rembrandt Would Have Loved You, Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutability, and Luke Kennard’s The Harbour Beyond the Movie. I worried that Shapcott would be too obvious, but shared it anyway, and she loved the book, so sometimes obvious is just right. Padel and Kennard weren’t ones I had originally included in my suggestion pile but talking to her about her friend’s dark sense of humour and love of old masters and music made them seem like obvious choices. [Yes, I do realize that Luke is a man, but his collection was the right one for this job].

Poetry for people wanting to discover the next young thing

I love reading the Foyle Young Poets’ anthologies, not just for the poetry, but also the thrill of guessing who will becoming the next Helen Mort. Among the 2012 winners, Flora de Falbe stood out at first with her amazing name, then with her Kennard-ish poem. It’s been great to see her name pop up since, in Rising, or as the winner of the English National Ballet challenge. In the 2013 crop, the stand-out poem was by Emma Lister, a poet who has already accumulated a fair few awards for her age as a former National Trust poetry competition winner. While a Google search doesn’t elicit much proof of recent activity, I am sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear from her… The art world often puts too much onus on artists’ youth and pressure to achieve notoriety before an arbitrary sell-by date. While I hope these two poets fulfil their potential, I also hope they take the time to lead a varied and interesting life.

Quickfire suggestions

Poetry for culture vultures: Penny Boxall’s Ship of the Line, Fawzia Kane’s Houses of the Dead, Sue Rose’s Heart ArchivesAmy Key’s Luxe

Poetry for your favourite feminist: Sonia Hendy-Isaac’s The Contradictions of Flesh, Sophie Mayer’s The Private Part of Girls, Clare Pollard’s Ovid’s HeroinesAnna Percy’s Livid Among the Ghostings, Salena Godden’s Fishing in the Aftermath.

Poetry for someone going through a weight-loss program: Claire Crowther’s Incense.

Poetry for your favourite midlander: Liz Berry’s Black Country.

Poetry for Bingo-lovers: Maria Taylor’s Poetry Bingo.

Poetry for fans of history of medicine: Kelley Swain’s Opera di Cera.

Poetry for fans of insects: Helen Clare’s Entomology.

Poetry for fans of old-skool video games: Hannah Faith Notess’s Ghost HouseKirsten Irving’s Never Never Never Come Back.

Any suggestions for other categories, or for additions to these?






Second time around: the 100 poems challenge

I am back!

As some of you may remember, I wrote 100 poems in a day last November to raise money for Refuge. You can read my report about it here.

Unfortunately, the situation has been getting worse, not better, for victims of domestic violence with the closure of numerous vital centres across the country.

So I’ve decided to revive the challenge and write 100 poems on 15th August 2014. This time, I’ll be writing the poems on the back of 100 postcards (and uploading the images to this here blog). You can claim the postcards you like by commenting below the posts, or by leaving a comment when donating.

Here is my JustGiving page, please donate! I have a very ambitious target this time, but we raised nearly £700 last time, so I think we can do it!

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Join in! The more the merrier. Setting up a fundraising page is fast and easy.You don’t have to write 100 poems in a day to join in, you can do something that fits in around your life better. Join our team page here.
  • Suggest titles for poems!
  • Retweet me and others taking part in the challenge (or the Facebook equivalent). We’ll be using the #refugepoetry hashtag.
  • Donate. Whether it’s 10p or £100.