Conyer Clayton is a writer, editor, musician, and gymnastics coach living on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe, also known as Ottawa. Conyer's debut full-length poetry collection, We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite,  (Guernica Editions, 2020) won the 2021 English Fiction Ottawa Book Award and was a finalist for the 2020 Relit Award for Poetry.  Her collaborative chapbook with Manahil Bandukwala, Sprawl | the time it took us to forget (Collusion Books, 2020), was shortlisted for the 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award. She released her first solo musical EP, Further Behind You, in May 2020. Her second book, But the sun, and the ships, and the fish, and the waves, is forthcoming from A Feed Dog Book from Anvil Press in Spring 2022.

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Photo by Manahil Bandukwala

Conyer has 8 chapbooks: Towers (Collusion Books, 2021), written collaboratively with VII, Sprawl | the time it took us to forget (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, 2018), Mitosis (In/words Magazine and Press, 2018), For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press, 2018), and The Marshes (& Co Collective, 2017). Her work has been published widely in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., including Arc Poetry Magazine, The Fiddlehead, The Capilano Review, Augur, filling station, Prairie Fire, CV2, 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.

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Conyer's poetry has won multiple awards, including Arc Poetry Magazine's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, and The Capilano Review's 2019 Robin Blaser Poetry Prize. She placed 3rd in the 2017 Prairie Fire Banff Center Carman Bliss Poetry Contest and was awarded the honourable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize. Her hybrid creative non-fiction piece, "I cannot write this softly, " published in filling station 73, is a finalist for a 2021 Alberta Magazine Award for Best Essay. Her poem, "What's so blank about it," from long con magazine's issue 3, was nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize, and her poem "The Break" was nominated for the "Best of the Net" contest by Savant-Garde Magazine.

 

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.