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Luke

Thompson
writer / editor / publisher

ABOUT ME

Born in Cornwall surrounded by animals (monkeys, parrots, frogs, dogs, bugs, mice, pigs, chickens and whatever else turned up) I now find myself back in Cornwall writing about animals. In between then and now I've worked as a gardener, fishmonger, bookseller, bodyguard, grocer, daffodil-picker and numerous other jobs across the country. Alongside this work I studied for a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Writing, Nature and Place, and a PhD on the poet Jack Clemo. 

 

My debut poetry collection, Singing about Melon, was published by Shearsman in 2020, around the same time as the long essay Rhinoceros, published by Broken Sleep Books. Other titles include two poetry pamphlets, the clearing (Atlantic, 2016) and Robot Squirrel (zimZalla, 2017), a biography of the poet Jack Clemo entitled Clay Phoenix (Ally, 2016), and the anthology Treasures of Cornwall (Macmillan, 2023).

 

My next book is Domadomadoma-Blumblumblum: Conversations with Other Animals and it was great fun to write. It explores the ways in which we have imagined or attempted conversing with other species, from John Lilly’s experiments with dolphins to the talking mongoose poltergeist on the Isle of Man. It covers the literature and practice of some of the most extraordinary cases from ancient times to the present. Doma will be published by Ortac Press in September 2024, featuring cover art by the amazing comics artist Donya Todd.

 

Recent performances, events and exhibitions have been at the Belfast Book Festival, the Poetry Society in London, the Manchester Poetry Library, the Natural History Museum, Moniack Mhor near Inverness, the Westminster Reference Library, the Arnolfini, the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre at Lumb Bank, and at New Networks for Nature. I have had articles and/or poems recently published in Reliquiae, the Brixton Review of Books, PN Review, Archipelago and in Carcanet's New Poetries series and I occasionally review for Caught by the River. I run workshops from Penzance to Shetland, including a regular course on Transreading the Pamphlet at The Poetry School. Workshops have been about human-animal communication, monster pulp fiction, sound poetry, spiritualism-inspired text generation, the essay form, book-making, publishing, landscape writing, illustration and absurdity, and lots more.

In 2016 I co-founded Guillemot Press, a very small publisher of beautiful books, with Sarah Cave. We've got a tremendous list of poets, both new and established, with recent or forthcoming titles from Fiona Benson, David Harsent, Karenjit Sandhu, Jen Hadfield, Rebecca Goss, Nina Mingya Powles, Petals Kalulé, Rosmarie Waldrop, David Constantine, Robert Lax, Alycia Pirmohamed, Jessie Greengrass, Adam Marek, Selima Hill, Isabel Galleymore and many, many more. 

 

​I’m also a senior lecturer at Falmouth University, leading the MA Professional Writing.

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