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Clare Ellin – The Wise Woman of Kilnwick

by Frank McGarry

An unusual and historic feature on his garden’s boundary led Frank McGarry to discover the work of Clare Ellin, a country girl who became a teacher and in later life a writer and poet. The Yorkshire Post’s Andrew Weir dubbed her ” the Wise Woman of Kilnwick” Clare Ellin’s poetry celebrated the landscape, heritage, people and dialect of the East Riding of Yorkshire, where she spent all her life. The poems in this volume offer the reader a rich and rewarding insight into rural life in this part of Yorkshire, from a woman whose life spanned eight decades of the twentieth century,from 1904 to 1984. Introducing the poems and grouping them by theme, Frank McGarry compiles a fascinating account of the poet’s life, gleaned from published sources, her own memoirs, and conversations with her daughter. In these pages you will read about bargees and bellringers,Lad’s Love and lawns, swallows and springtime, wildflowers and wine; and places called Mucky Dick Lane, Tickle-Belly Alley, and the Land of Nod. All from the pen of “a Yorsher lass,East Thridin” born an’ bred. “This is our East Riding, treasure it with pride, its dialect, humour, history- held by coast and rivers and fringed by Humberside.” Clare Ellin Poet