July News

SUN goes online

SUN by Katrina Porteous and Peter Zinovieff, with visuals by Jonathan Sanderson, can now be viewed — and heard in stereo — on You Tube.


SUN is an immersive, multi-channel performance of poetry and electronic music, with planetarium visuals by Chris Hudson, written in response to the work of Northumbria University’s Solar Physics Research Group, as part of Imagining the Sun, supported by NUSTEM.

It’s available in multichannel and stereo format, and with flat screen as well as planetarium visuals. So we can bring the live version to any venue.

Peter and I performed a stereo version at Poetry-Next-the-Sea in Wells, Norfolk on May 6th, and the multichannel version in the Middleton Hall at the Sound + Environment 17 conference at the University of Hull on June 29th. Thank you to both events for hosting us.

I also took part in a presentation called Poetry Promoting Physics at the BIG Event STEM communicators’ network annual conference at Centre For Life, Newcastle on July 19th. I performed two movements from SUN and, together with Chris Hudson (Planetarium Supervisor) and Sarah Hilton (NUSTEM), discussed the ‘science communication’ involved in Imagining the Sun. The discussion included arts-based science discovery in primary schools, presentations of SUN at non-science events around the country, and the effect of poetry on science researchers’ own language.

A booklet bringing together the work of Imagining the Sun, including some of my poems for the project, information on Peter’s music and the Northumbria University solar scientists’ research, fabulous paintings by Helen Schell and stunning photographs from NASA / SDO and other solar telescopes, as well as examples of our work with schools, will be available in September. It’s edited by Sarah Hilton, with an introduction by Prof. John Woodward. Many thanks to Carol Davenport for all her work throughout this project. For a free copy, please contact NUSTEM.


Hadrian’s Wall

Extracts from This Far and No Further (my long poem about Hadrian’s Wall, published by Bloodaxe Books in Two Countries), featured on Radio 4’s Making History on July 18th.

An extract from the same poem features in an artwork on the wall of the YHA restaurant at The Sill, Northumberland National Park’s new visitor centre, which opens this month.


More Radio

My poem for the Summer Solstice is still available on the Woman’s Hour Podcast for June 21st . It’s right at the end of the programme, together with a short interview.

Conversations on a Bench, Beadnell, the radio poem I made for Radio 4 with Adam Fowler and Anna Scott-Brown of Overtone Productions last year, can be heard on Soundcloud.

You can also catch Radio 4 documentaries I made with producer Julian May on the wonderful William Stafford and on the 2014 Fisher Poets’ Gathering in Oregon USA on the BBC i-player.


The First Women

My old college, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, has just published a lovely collection of memoirs, interviews and stories, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the admission of women. The book is edited by Sandra Raban, one of the first two female tutors, and my former Director of Studies in History. I was part of the third mixed year in 1979. Sandra personally commissioned me to write a new poem in celebration of the anniversary, and I’m greatly honoured that this appears at the beginning of the book. Thank you, Sandra! The First Women is available for £9-95 including postage from Trinity Hall Gift Shop.

Katrina Porteous aged 19 in 1980Katrina Porteous in 1980