Swiss-born, Scotland-based Regi Claire started off as a fiction writer before becoming a poet. Her second novel, The Waiting (Word Power), won a UBS Cultural Foundation Award. Both her short story collections, Inside–Outside (Scottish Cultural Press) and Fighting It (Two Ravens), were shortlisted for Scotland’s National Book Awards. Regi’s poetry won the Mslexia/PBS Women’s Poetry Competition 2019 and was shortlisted for the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition 2021 and the Forward Prizes 2020 (Best Single Poem).
Having made her home in the UK as an adult, Regi is keenly aware of her ‘in-between-ness’, and this is a force field she tries to explore. Much of her fiction is characterised by the uncanny and the surreal, focusing on misfits and people at crisis point. Her poetry often contains narratives that veer off into another dimension.
Perhaps because of her origins in a country with four national languages but no lingua franca and her background in TEFL and English and German literature and linguistics – ex-PHD student and research assistant in the English Department of Zurich University – Regi has always been passionate about language and the power of words, their use and misuse, their abuse.
She teaches creative reading at Edinburgh University’s Centre for Open Learning and is a consultant for Waste Stories, an environmental project based at Glasgow University and supported by the Leverhulme Trust. She lives in Edinburgh with her husband, the writer Ron Butlin (the Scottish half of performance duo McSwiss), and their golden retriever.