Autumn News

New Poetry Commission for Holy Island and the Northumberland Coast

Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership

A new booklet marking the end of the three-year Heritage Lottery Funded Peregrini LLP will be launched at the Peregrini Volunteer Conference at Crossman Village Hall on Holy Island, Saturday 9th December, 11am-4.30pm. The booklet, Many Hands, contains volunteer portraits by photographer Jose Snook and a new, specially-commissioned poem sequence by Katrina Porteous inspired by Jose’s portraits and the volunteers’ words. As part of the day’s varied programme of events, a new series of ceramic pieces by heritage potter Graham Taylor will also be on display. One of the inspirations for these pieces is Katrina’s long poem The Refuge Box, from Two Countries (Bloodaxe Books 2014).

Book your ticket for the event here.

Northumbrian Language Society Triumph in Cornwall

For the sixth year in a row, a member of the Northumbrian Language Society has won a national dialect competition. This year the National Dialect Festival was held in Penryn, near Falmouth in Cornwall, on 21st-22nd October. Society Chairman Peter Arnold, one of seven Northumbrians to make the long journey, triumphed with an extract from The Wund an’ the Wetter, Katrina’s long dialect poem first commissioned by the NLS in 1999. Katrina, who was unable to make the trip, is currently NLS President. The Wund an’ the Wetter was first published by Iron Press in 1999 with a CD of Katrina’s reading and Chris Ormston’s music, and is now available in Two Countries (Bloodaxe Books 2014). Many congratulations to Peter on his fantastic win!

Wheer d’ye Belang?

Katrina’s 2014 essay about the Northumbrian hills and borderlands, available on Radio 4 extra until Nov 17th.

Several of Katrina’s other radio pieces are available online via i-player. Just search for her by name.

Two Anthologies

Word Sharing marks the 30th anniversary of the Durham-Tübingen literary exchange. It will be launched by the Tübingen Cultural Office in Tübingen, Germany, Friday, November 17th, at an event featuring poet Dr Keith Armstrong, who has done so much to foster and sustain links between Durham and Tübingen over three decades. Keith introduced Katrina to Durham’s twin town in 2001, with two further visits in 2002 and 2003. Word Sharing contains three of Katrina’s poems, including one translated into German by friend and fellow-poet Uwe Kolbe.

Land of Three Rivers – the poetry of North-East England, edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books), maps the North East in poems relating to its past and present, depicting life from Roman times, through medieval Northumbria and the industrial era of mining and ship-building, to the present day. Katrina is one of a large number of poets represented. The anthology will be launched at an evening of poetry, music and song with Kathryn Tickell and Magnetic North East at Sage Gateshead on Friday, November 10th.

Poem for The Poetry School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge

The Poetry School was established in 1997 by three poets around a kitchen table. From these beginnings its artistic values have grown with a core commitment to providing inspiring tuition and opportunities for poets and poetry audiences. It is a registered charity and proud Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. In 2017 to celebrate its 20th anniversary The Poetry School is working with selected organisations across the country to rain poetry onto pavements, into quads and other places where they can brighten up a rainy day. They are delighted to have collaborated with Trinity Hall and Katrina Porteous to make this happen in Cambridge.

Katrina writes of her specially-commissioned poem, ‘Wake’:

‘‘Wake’ places the particular geographical and temporal point in which the poem is situated – a flagstone in Trinity Hall, today – in the deeper context of biological, geological and planetary time. Referring to the college’s symbol, the crescent moon, and to its origins in canon and civil law, the poem contrasts the ‘puzzle’ (and fragility) of life on Earth with the desolation beyond.’

To see Katrina’s poem Wake, please contact the Alumni Office, Trinity Hall, Cambridge.