Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based artist who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Conyer Clayton received an MA in English from the University of Louisville in 2013. Later that year, she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and in 2016, to Ottawa. Conyer is a poet, sound-artist, dancer, and gymnastics coach!
Conyer's debut full-length poetry collection, We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite, is forthcoming with Guernica Editions, Spring 2020.
Conyer has 6 chapbooks, Trust Only the Beasts in the Water (above/ground press, 2019), / (post ghost press, 2019)Undergrowth (bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/words Magazine and Press) and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press), and The Marshes (& Co Collective) in 2017. Her work has been published widely in Canada and the U.S., including ARC, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, The Maynard, In/Words, Bywords, Transom, Puddles of Sky Press, Coven Editions, and phafours press.
In August 2018, Conyer released her first album, If the river stood still, in collaboration with Nathanael Larochette. This album fuses poetry and music to take the listener on a journey through loss, grieving, healing, and understanding. This album was released alongside its sister project, Mitosis.
In 2017, she won ARC's Diana Brebner Prize for her poem "Seeds," and 3rd place in the 2017 Prairie Fire Banff Center Carman Bliss Poetry Contest for "What you actually lost." In 2018, she was awarded the honourable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize for her piece "Recurrent, " and her poem "Southern Belle" was long-listed for Vallum Magazine's 2018 Poem of the Year. She had 2 poems long-listed for the The New Quarterly's 2019 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest.
Conyer Clayton is a member of the sound poetry troupe Quatuor Gualuor, and also writes reviews for Canthius, a feminist literary arts journal. She is part & Co Collective, and co-editor of & Co Collective's 2017 chapbook, Indistinguishable: as if forgetting were silence to be filled. In her live performances, she often experiments with sound and voice looping to create an emotional and immersive environment for the audience. She has collaborated with a number of musicians to create poetry for ambient, classical, and jazz music. She is interested in exploring and experimenting with poetry as performance, as movement, as music itself.
Conyer is currently seeking representation for multiple manuscripts, both chapbook and full length. If you are interested in reading more, please reach out!