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Twitter Q&A | Katrina Naomi, Cath Drake and Katherine Stansfield
From 1 until 1:30pm on Monday 21st June, three Seren poets will be online answering questions on all things poetry. Perhaps you'd like to know more about the route to publication, maybe you want to know how they approach a poem, where do they find inspiration, what advice do they have for a poet just starting out? Tweet your questions and follow along using the hashtag #AskASerenPoet and wait for a reply. We'll also be online telling you more about their new collections, all published during the pandemic.
About the poets
Katrina Naomi’s poetry has appeared on Radio 4’s Front Row and Poetry Please, BBC TV’s Spotlight and on Poems on the Underground. Katrina was the first poet-in-residence at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and was highly commended in the 2017 Forward Prize. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths and tutors for Arvon, Tŷ Newydd and the Poetry School. She has published three full collections and four pamphlets.
Her third collection Wild Persistence is a confident and persuasive collection of poems. From the first poem we are warned to be on guard for the off-guard, to suspend our expectations of pure realism and to stay awake for what comes next. Though never didactic, the poetic voice convinces us of the need to live well, to take time to celebrate, dance, make love, embrace the outdoors, muse over the biography of someone admirable, make a stand for feminism. This is Katrina’s first collection since moving to Cornwall.
Cath Drake lives in London and has been published in anthologies and literary magazines in UK, Australia and US. Sleeping with Rivers won a Mslexia poetry pamphlet prize and was a Poetry Book Society Choice. She has been shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize, and was second in the 2017 Resurgence Poetry School eco-poetry prize (now called Ginkgo) and highly commended in the same prize in 2019. The Shaking City, her first full collection, was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2020. Her work has included campaigning, copywriting and storytelling for good causes, environmental writing and award-winning journalism.
The shaking city of Cath Drake’s debut poetry collection is a metaphor for the swiftly changing precarity of modern life within the looming climate and ecological emergency, and the unease of the narrator who is far from home. Tall tales combine with a conversational style, playful humour and a lyrical assurance. The poet is able to work a wide set of diverse spells upon the reader through her adept use of tone, technique, plot and form. She is a welcome new voice for contemporary poetry.
Katherine Stansfield has made a name for herself both as a wryly witty poet of the everyday seen ‘aslant’ and as a popular novelist of crime and fantasy. She grew up in Cornwall and now lives in Cardiff. Her poems have appeared in The North, Magma, Poetry Wales, The Interpreter's House, And Other Poems, Butcher's Dog, and as ‘Poem of the Week’ in The Guardian. She teaches for the Open University and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
Her second poetry collection, We Could Be Anywhere By Now, is pointedly full of poems about placement and displacement. After a childhood on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, she moved to mid Wales, and this book explores relationships between these two places along personal and linguistic lines, as well as notions of insider / outsider in Wales and England, learning languages, and the languages of learning to leave places behind. New horizons beckon: we voyage to Italy, Canada, the United States. Stansfield is never eager to pronounce but always approaches her subjects in an oblique, artful way, carefully avoiding cliché and relishing the strange, the overheard, the marginal, the accidental comedy and tragedy of the everyday.