Ella Frears

Poetry - Shortlisted 2019

Ella Frears is a poet, visual artist and curator living in London. Her work has benefited from regular shifts in subject and influence; this is a result of a number of creative writing jobs and residencies in her early career including Tate Britain, the National Trust and Royal Holloway University. She credits this experience with preventing her work from becoming formulaic.

Research and reading other writers is a big part of Frears’ process and her long list of influences includes Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison and Wisława Szymborska. Collaborating with other artists - composers, painters, filmmakers - has also shaped her writing and opened up her ideas. Commissions such as The Six Pillars of Modernism at Tate St Ives (2017-2018) – a collaboration with artist Ben Sanderson, allowed her to interrogate how poems might work in a space and how that space can be altered to enhance the reading.

Frears’ pamphlet Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity was published by Goldsmiths Press this year. Her current work in progress is a debut collection which uses the five sections of her Moon Sequence poem to explore themes including sexual politics, interaction with the environment and artistic engagement.