Header image: Adam Fung.
Melanie Branton writes and performs poetry. Her first collection of poetry, My Cloth-Eared Heart (2017) is published by Oversteps Books. Her second will be published by Burning Eye in late 2018.
Her poems have been published in a number of print and online journals, including Algebra of Owls, Amaryllis, Clear Poetry, Clockwise Cat, The High Window, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Light, Lighten Up Online, Message In A Bottle, Monkey Kettle, Obsessed With Pipework, Prole, Snakeskin, South, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, and The Spectator.
She has performed at WOMAD, the Bristol Harbour Festival and at spoken word and poetry nights all over the UK. Her full-length poetry show (confusingly also called My Cloth-Eared Heart) has been showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe, Wolves Lit Fest and will be shown at the Barnstaple Fringe in June.
She came second in the Bristol Poetry Festival Slam in 2014 and 2017 and represented Bristol at the Hammer and Tongue 2016 and the Superheroes of Slam 2017 national finals.
“This is a quite brilliant collection of poems: clever, sad, funny, reflective, passionate. At the cloth-eared heart of it is Melanie Branton’s ability to conjure light from the darkness, comedy among the tragedy, and a magical absurdity out of the everyday.” – Brian Bilston
“When I first saw Melanie perform a set in Bristol I was laughing out loud and leaning in on the edge of my seat intently to hear more all in the space of 20 minutes. A fantastic poet with a great mix of dry humour and real life heart and emotion, I look forward to seeing more of her!” – Harry Baker
“Melanie Branton is an unexpected poetry slap. The kind that makes your face tingle and your eyebrows sky rocket. She is funny, clever, ironic, dry, gripping, needed and you won’t see her coming until she is standing in your face.” – Liv Torc
“Melanie Branton fires up all manner of emotions within the play and wit of her poems. She often skilfully combines a worldly eye with the other-worldly vision of fairy tale. There is a chilling reality in ‘The Scholarship Boarders’ ‘living as though we were refugees in a transit camp called adolescence’, but in the next poem, ‘Summative Assessment’, we recognise the ‘white hot, wild intelligence’ of the poet, as well as of the student in her poem. My Cloth Eared Heart is an extraordinary book, from a writer with a heart, wide-eyed and passionate.” – Susan Taylor
“Melanie Branton writes with wit and intelligence, performs with intensity and swings between narrative storytelling and the cryptic mystery of language. A much needed and potent female voice.” – Rebecca Tantony
“Melanie Branton’s poetry is by turns deeply funny and achingly honest. She performs with humanity and passion and I think I’m a little in love with her. Words dance at her command.” – Robert Garnham