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Katrina Porteous | Bloodaxe Books

Katrina Porteous was born in Aberdeen, grew up in Co. Durham, and has lived on the Northumberland coast since 1987. She read History at Cambridge and afterwards studied in the USA on a Harkness Fellowship. Many of the poems in her first collection, The Lost Music (Bloodaxe Books, 1996), focus on the Northumbrian fishing community, about which she has also written in prose. Katrina often writes in Northumbrian dialect, as in The Wund an’ the Wetter, recorded on CD with piper Chris Ormston (Iron Press, 1999). She is President of the Northumbrian Language Society and the Coble and Keelboat Society. Her second collection from Bloodaxe, Two Countries (2014), was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Literature in 2015.

Katrina has been involved in many collaborations with other artists, including public art for Seaham, Co. Durham, with sculptor Michael Johnson, and two books with maritime artist James Dodds. Katrina often performs with musicians, including Chris Ormston, Alistair Anderson and Alexis Bennett.

Katrina is particularly known for her radio-poetry, much of it produced by Julian May. A new version of one of these poems, The Refuge Box, forms part of a permanent installation in Lindisfarne Priory Museum, alongside work by Olivia Lomenech Gill. Another, Horse, with electronic music by Peter Zinovieff, is published as an artists’ book and CD, with prints by Lomenech Gill (Windmillsteads Books, 2014).

Katrina’s third full-length collection, Edge (Bloodaxe Books, 2019), draws on three collaborations performed in Life Science Centre Planetarium, Newcastle, between 2013 and 2016, with multi-channel electronic music by Zinovieff: Field, Sun and Edge. Edge was broadcast as a Poetry Please Special on BBC Radio 4 in 2013.

In 2021 Katrina received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors. Her final collaboration with Zinovieff was Under the Ice (2021). Her work has been set by Kristina Arakelyan for the BBC Proms (Whin Lands, 2023). Katrina’s fourth poetry book from Bloodaxe, Rhizodont, will be published in June 2024.

Author photo: Tony Griffiths

Books by Katrina Porteous



Two Countries

Katrina Porteous

Two Countries

Publication Date : 23 Oct 2014

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