Ella Frears by Etienne Gilfillan

Ella Frears

Ella Frears (b. 1991, Truro) has been poet-in-residence on the number 17 bus in Southampton, at Tate St. Ives, and in a university physics department, among others. She has written extensively about motorway service stations. These very different subject-matters find coherence in Frears’ idiosyncratic voice, sense of humour, and strange connection-making. Poetic form, for Frears, is unstable and shifty, a way of drawing different registers of language into unexpected collisions.

The heart of Shine, Darling is the unsettling long piece detailing an autobiographical near-abduction experience, ‘Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity’, where interwoven voices and shifting time-frames build up like evidence. ‘I wanted to write a long-form lyric poem the length and weight of a short story, with the suspense of a novel’, writes Frears.

Read reviews of Shine, Darling in The Guardian and by Martyn Crucefix.
Watch Ella Frears repurposing the visual language of the Online Make Up tutorial to talk about the work of Chinese poet Yu Yoyo.

Forward Prizes History:

  • 2020 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, shortlisted for Shine, Darling (Offord Road Books)
Photo credit: Etienne Gilfillan