She was educated in Edinburgh and Oxford University. She lived in London's East End for several years, before moving to Buckingham where she now works as a teacher, journalist and freelance writer.
Her poetry and seven radio plays have been broadcast by BBC Radio. She is a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper; her work appeared in The Scotsman, the New Statesman and Poetry Review. She also writes for radio and broadcasts on the World Service and BBC Radio 3 and 4. 2009.
She is a Creative Writing Fellow of Oxford Brookes University and teaches Creative Writing at the Arvon Foundation.
Kate Clanchy's new book, What Is She Doing Here?, can be described as a memoir of her relationship with a Kosovan refugee, Antigona, but it is much more than that. Antigona escapes from her devastated village by way of Italy to London, where she meets, befriends and is employed by Clanchy. The bond between the two women is fraught but strong, caught in the contradiction of their roles as employer, employee and friend. But, as Clanchy finds the words to write Antigona's story, we begin to hear Antigona's own voice, one that both educates and angers the narrator, and, above all, makes her question many things about her life.
Clanchy has done a marvellous thing. By giving voice to a refugee and telling a story that would otherwise have gone unheard, she reminds us both of the solidarity that exists between women, and of how far feminism - not just as an ideology, but as a system governing economic transaction - has yet to go.
Kate Clanchy is notable for her tightly-written lyrics that explore thirtysomething life in the post-feminist era. Newborn, her third collection of poems, depends largely on a sense of recognition. It attempts to draw on common experiences of women, and the unfamiliar world they enter once they have boarded the pregnancy train and realise, to use Sylvia Plath's metaphor, that "there's no getting off".