Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa-based multidisciplinary artist, editor, and gymnastics coach who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe.
Conyer's debut full-length poetry collection, We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite, was released May 2020 with Guernica Editions, and was a finalist for the 2021 ReLit Award for Poetry. She also released her first solo musical EP, Further Behind You, on May 1, 2020.
Conyer has 8 chapbooks: Towers (Collusion Books, 2021), written collaboratively with VII, Sprawl (Collusion Books, 2020, written jointly with Manahil Bandukwala), 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, the U.S., and the U.K., including ARC, The Fiddlehead, The Capilano Review, Augur, filling station, Prairie Fire, CV 2, Room Magazine, The Maynard, Black Bough Poetry, Parentheses Journal, Transom, Puddles of Sky Press, Coven Editions, and CAROUSEL.
In August 2018, Conyer released a collaborative album, If the river stood still, 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 2020, Conyer continued to explore the intersection of music and poetry with musical and video versions of Sprawl | the time it took us to forget, created in collaboration with Nathanael Larochette, Liam Burke, Manahil Bandukwala, and Andy Verboom. You can check out the video on youtube, and the music on bandcamp.
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. She was the co-winner, alongside Bardia Sinaee, of The Capilano Review's 2019 Robin Blaser Poetry Prize. Her poem, "What's so blank about it," from long con magazine's issue 3, was nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize.
Conyer is a happy member of the creative collective, VII:
VII is seven voices fused into one exquisite corpse: Manahil Bandukwala, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Conyer Clayton, nina jane drystek, Chris Johnson, Margo LaPierre and Helen Robertson. Based on the belief that seven minds are better than one and that many ideas make joyous chorus, we say: We are I and I is VII. Formed in March 2020, VII is based in Ottawa, Ontario, the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg First Nation. Their debut chapbook "Towers" is forthcoming in Spring 2021 with Collusion Books.
Conyer is a first reader for ARC Poetry Magazine and is an active reviewer of poetry and fiction. Conyer is also a professional editor, with a focus in poetry.