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🎧 Author Kate Clanchy: "My Life's Work Has been Taken Away"

From the UnHerd YouTube channel

Kate Clanchy is a writer, teacher, and editor. Her writing includes three prize-winning collections of poetry, the Costa First Novel Prize-shortlisted Meeting the English, and the Orwell Prize-winning memoir Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me.

Last summer her writing came under criticism for its allegedly insensitive depictions of her students.

At the time Picador, her publisher did not come to her defence. Support came from her students, who feature in her memoir. Last September, at least 20 of them wrote an open letter to The Bookseller defending her. They said their personal experiences of Clanchy were of “unequivocal care and support for us… as poets and as people”. They said they wanted to push back against suggestions that they “may be victims in some capacity.” They said Clanchy’s support gave them confidence as poets.

Kate Clanchy came to the UnHerd studio and spoke with Freddie Sayers. They discuss her experiences — of teaching, writing, and cancel culture.