Katrina Porteous was born in Aberdeen in 1960, grew up in Co. Durham, and has lived at Beadnell in Northumberland since 1987. She read History at Cambridge and afterwards studied in the USA on a Harkness Fellowship. Her work appeared in Carol Rumens' Bloodaxe anthology New Women Poets in 1990. In 1989 she won a Gregory Award, and in 1993 an Arts Council Bursary. Many of the poems in her first collection, The Lost Music (Bloodaxe Books, 1996), deal with the fishing community of the Northumberland coast. Katrina is actively involved in local history, recording reminiscences of older people in the community. She also writes in Northumbrian dialect, and has recorded her long poem, The Wund an' the Wetter, on CD with piper Chris Ormston (Iron Press, 1999), while Turning the Tide is a collection of photographs and paintings recording the regeneration of the black beaches of east Durham (District of Easington, 2001). Her second full-length collection from Bloodaxe, Two Countries (2014), was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Literature 2015.
She has been involved in many collaborations with other artists, including public art for Seaham, County Durham with sculptor Michael Johnson, and inscriptions for Easington Colliery Memorial Garden. In 2000 she worked with composer Alistair Anderson on the musical Tam Lin, and collaborated on a film-poem for Poetry International at the Royal Festival Hall. Her third poetry book, Edge, due from Bloodaxe in 2019, draws on three collaborations commissioned for performance in Life Science Centre Planetarium, Newcastle between 2013 and 2016, with computer music by Peter Zinovieff, Field, Sun, and Edge. Sun was part of NUSTEM’s Imagining the Sun project for schools and the wider public (Northumbria University, 2016). Edge, a poem in four moons incorporating sounds collected from space missions, was broadcast as a Poetry Please Special on BBC Radio 4 in 2013.
Katrina has many years' experience leading poetry workshops for adults and children. She has been writer-in-residence from Cornwall to the Shetland Islands, as well as in schools in the United States.
Books by Katrina Porteous