Clean Hands

I have a new story up at Monkey Bicycle!
March 2018

He’s only a park gardener. Shaves, makes coffee, watches porn, wipes up the mess.

She’s only a traffic controller. Does her crunches and pushups, skips breakfast, curses everyone on the bus before charging out into the street.

They both love Johnnie Walker and unsoiled sheets. They wash their hands before going to bed—soap them, scrub them, rinse them. They don’t want the dirt and grime of life to defile their sleep.

There’s a kid, too, their kid, although they didn’t make him. He’s only twelve and already no good.

Continue reading >>

Interview: Farsickness Journal

Intro: “Paris-based novelist Claire Polders discusses how watery places—from Iceland to Greece to the shores of her native Holland—have inspired her work.”

Megan Harlan interviewed me for Farsickness Journal. February 2018.

“There wasn’t really one place that most captivated me. It was the concept of mobility, of flowing, of changing horizons, that made me fall in love with traveling. I’m not bound to one spot and not bound to one opinion. I can change my mind as easily as I can change my perspective, and the two often go hand in hand.”

Photo: Iceland, 2008

Read the rest of the interview here.



Be it hope, happiness, healthcare, or a heart, I wish 2018 will bring everyone what they need most in life.

My main dream for the new year is for more and more girls to understand the patriarchal society they are born in, and grow up to be wise, free, responsible, and powerful women. And for my writing to encourage their consciousness and their goals.

End of the Year

Very honored to have received three Pushcart Prize nominations this year! One from TriQuarterly for my story “The Men on the Fence,” one from Paul Crenshaw for the same story, and one from matchbook for my story “Woman of the Century.”

I was also nominated twice for The Best Small Fictions, by Connotation Press for “The Anxious One” and by matchbook for “Woman of the Century“.

Earlier this year Connotation Press nominated “Speaking of Ovid” for The Best of the Net.

I’m deeply grateful to the editors for selecting and championing my work!

Recently published:

  • The short short “Dawn” (finalist in the Fineline Competition) in Mid-American Review
  • The flash fiction “The Hardest Thing” (finalist in the flash fiction competition) in Iron Horse
  • The short essay “The Gravity of Air” in The Forge
  • The flash fiction “One-Way Family” in (b)OINK

As I’m finishing my novel and have already started a new one, I haven’t written much short fiction this year, but I can announce one piece forthcoming in 2018:

  • “The Brazilian Lover” in: Fiction International

Last bit of news: Three previously published short shorts (“Woman of the Week”, “Back to Back”, and “Dimensions”) will be published in the AROHO’s Waves Anthology, A Confluence of Women’s Voices, 2018

Fall 2017 Publications

Happy to announce I have two essays published this season. A longer one, “Beach Bodies,” on Syrian refugees and the Greek islands as a holiday destination, in Room Magazine (available for order here). A shorter one, “Possible Reactions,” on living and writing in dark times, in The Pinch (available for order here).

More flash fictions on the net have appeared in Whiskey Paper (“Classic Woman“), matchbook (“Woman of the Century“),  Blue Fifth Review (“Atmospheric Betrayal“), and Flash Frontier (“Seven Causes of my Mother’s Bicycle Accident“).

Thank you, dear editors, for giving my words such beautiful homes, and thank you, dear readers, for your time.

Debate in Tilburg

My Alma Mater, Tilburg University, has invited me
to speak about the past, present, and future of the university in our society.
Find me in Tilburg, the Netherlands, on Sep 21, 2017.

Come and join the debate (or the after-party)!

A Whale in Paris

In a far, far togetherness, in a bed beneath a slanted roof, Daniel and I once made up a story about a French girl and a whale. Not too long ago, we decided to write it down so we could share it with the world. And the result will be readable as a beautifully illustrated children’s book (10+) in summer 2018!!!

From Publisher’s Marketplace: “Claire Polders and screenwriter Daniel Presley’s debut A WHALE IN PARIS is a hopeful and heroic story about a girl who befriends a whale that appears in the Seine during the Nazi occupation of Paris.”

 Thanks to Marie Lamba (& Jennifer DeChiara) for making it all possible, to Reka Simonsen for welcoming us to Atheneum (Simon & Schuster), and to Erin McGuire for the wonderful cover. (Soon to be revealed…)

The picture above is a painting by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson.


Shamed into Writing

Superstition Review has asked me to contribute a podcast to their Authors Talk series.

Visit their blog to hear me speak about the role of the Dutch in Indonesia, shame, and my need to explore shadows through my writing.

Summer 2017 Publications

Thanks to many terrific editors and literary magazines, my words have found some lovely homes.

The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review published “On Her Skin.” (If you subscribe and “adopt” me, I receive 60% of the funds.)

Cheap Pop gave “The Spider and I” an audience.

Tears in the Fence chose “Snapshots of Yesterday’s Tomorrow” (print only) as the Third Prize Winner for their annual flash fiction competition. The magazine will be out this summer.

Sleep is a Beautiful Colour, The National Flash Fiction Anthology (UK) included  “Swing State” (print and eBook only).

The National Flash Fiction Day (NZ) chose “Spring Cleaning” (scroll to June 10th) for the long list of their
Micro Madness competition.

Litro published my essay “Con Artists” in their summer issue (print only).

Blink Ink included my tiny “Aurora, Giselle, Jasmine” (print only) in June.

SmokeLong Quarterly asked me to list my favorite flashes on a theme of my choosing. I chose (Dead) Fathers.