Dr Luke Thompson
I am a writer, publisher and editor and a Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator for the MA Professional Writing. My fields being poetry, publishing, short fiction, creative non-fiction, biography, environmental literature and South West writers.
I studied philosophy in Wales, then later an MA in writing, nature and place at the University of Exeter. I remained at Exeter to do my PhD, an AHRC-funded, archive-based biographical study of twentieth century deaf and blind syphilitic poet Jack Clemo. My biography of Clemo, Clay Phoenix, was published (Ally Press, 2016). I also edited Clemo's Selected Poems (Enitharmon, 2015), edited and introduced his dialect tales, A Proper Mizz-Maze (Francis Boutle, 2016), edited, introduced and published his The Clay Dump (Guillemot Press, 2016), and made an album of Clemo's poetry set to music by renowned folk musician Jim Causley.
My first pamphlet of poetry, illustrated by Mairead Dunne, was published in 2016 by Atlantic Press and won the Michael Marks Award for Illustration 2016, and my second pamphlet, Robot Squirrel, was published by zimZalla in 2017. I co-curated and edited (with Jos Smith and Rose Ferraby) the community-rooted Tree Tales book and map, published by the arts and environment charity Common Ground. In 2018, in collaboration with the artist John Kilburn, I produced a five-book series about eels, supported by the Sustainable Eel Group and the Sustainable Earth Institute. This included developing a poetry anthology, editing a non-fiction title and writing a novella.
I am the founding editor of Guillemot Press, a small press for pamphlets of poetry and prose. We've published work by a great variety of poets and artists, including Melanie Challenger, Rebecca Goss, Rosmarie Waldrop, Robert Lax, Mona Arshi, Rowan Williams and Sister Mary Agnes, and in December 2018 we won the Michael Marks Publishers Award.
As well as books and publications, I've recently enjoyed curating exhibitions, developing archives, organising events and performing at festivals. Recent media appearances have included Radio 4's Poetry Please and BBC 1's Inside Out.