Welcome to Katherine Gallagher's website

Katherine Gallagher is a widely-acclaimed poet with eight books published as well as four chapbooks. Born in Australia, Gallagher has lived and worked in London since 1979. She has been an active force in the community, giving poetry readings, running workshops (for adults and children), judging poetry competitions, and participating in poetry festivals.
Her work has been widely reviewed, see Reviews. In addition, Gallagher has undertaken translations (from French) and her reviews of the work of other poets have been extensively published. Gallagher’s own poetry has been translated into French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Romanian, and Serbo-Croat. 


Poetry collections

Acres of Light
Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems
After Kandinsky
Tigers on the Silk Road
The Sleepwalker with Eyes of Clay
Finding the Prince (pamphlet)
Fish-rings on Water
Passengers to the City
Tributaries of the Love-song (pamphlet)
The Eye’s Circle


About Katherine Gallagher


Workshops and courses

Other projects

Children’s poetry
Past Events

Contact and links

(Photo by Marie Hyde)

The Brief of Travelling

I pitch my tent
on the edge of the desert,

watch the helter-skelter mirages:
savour the journey’s spell.

My trek is restless for found treasure,
flaring birdsong, for rivers that unfold.

It has blind trails like a bushwalker’s maze,
the weather white-wearing hot.

It has its terrors of forgetting,
stark monuments and forbidden marsh.

It has its long-sighted crafty Crusoe,
its footloose wily Gulliver.

from Acres of Light

News & events
Visit to Australia

This year, I’m going to Australia to visit my family and friends, and to take part in a few events to launch my latest collection, Acres of Light, (Arc Publications, 2016)
I’ll be arriving on 2nd August, mostly staying in Bendigo or Melbourne, with short visits to Maldon, Canberra and Sydney. Then I’ll be coming back here on the 6th October. Also, I’m really looking forward to seeing the Australian spring, and some golden wattles around Eastville and Bendigo.
or My events are as follows:

Sunday, 6th August: Poetry Reading and Chat, 2 pm. Refreshments.
Venue: Athenaeum Library, Maldon, 3463, Victoria.
Maldon is my birthplace and, being about 20 km from Eastville, is central to my childhood. It’s also a place I’ve written about, in a tribute to my great grandfather who was a gold-miner there back in 1858 ‘when six million stirred the banks’.

Monday, 4th September Reading and Interview with Josh Inman, in Canberra
Venue: Smiths Alternative, 76 Alinga Street, Canberra, ACT, 2601
The evening opens with an open mic.
Then there's a 30-40 min. one on one interview between JC Inman and myself
Then after a break, there’s a reading from me & launch of Acres of Light.

Wednesday, 27th September. Live Poets at Don Bank, 7.30 – 10.30pm
Venue: 6 Napier Street, North Sydney. Hosted by Danny Gardner.
The evening has two parts: firstly a Van Gogh show titled,’In Arles, Provence’ comprising poems based around the pictures Vincent painted in Arles – the first one is the famous bedroom, and the poems cover key phases of that fifteen or so months he was there. The last poem is virtually a plea to his brother Theo to get him out of the asylum, to let him come, unaccompanied, to Paris.
Part II is a reading by me to launch Acres of Light.

Lamb Festival, All Saints’ Church, Edmonton
As part of the Lamb Festival in honour of Charles and Mary Lamb
who are buried in the churchyard of All Saints' Church, Edmonton.

DATE: Sunday, 18th June, 2017 Following the 4 pm Dedication Service for the Lambs

Katherine Gallagher will be leading a POETRY WORKSHOP helping participants to craft poems on the themes of place and memory. We will look at our experiences along with ‘example’ poems to write pieces that are diverse, sharp, wry, heartfelt and surprising.

Participants in the afternoon workshop will have the opportunity to read their own work or their favourite poems by other poets.
This event will include a reading by Katherine Gallagher.
Anyone attending will be very welcome to take part in the open mic prior to the reading.
Enquiries: mail@katherine-gallagher.com

The White Boat - Barca Alba
(Integral Contemporary Literature Press, 2017)
Parallel Texts/English and Romanian

Barnet Poetry Competition
JUNIORS 7 – 11 at primary school
USE THE ENTRY FORM ONLINE http://www.barnetarts.org.uk

Acres of Light
by Katherine Gallagher

Published October 2016
paperback 978-1910345-73-3 -- hardback 978-1910345-74-0
ebook 978-1910345-75-7

Blurb comments

Katherine Gallagher's new collection is bejewelled throughout with haiku-like moments of vivid observation. Her delighted responses - in particular to the natural world - serve to peel away the film of familiarity through which we usually gaze. Yet Gallagher combines such excited observation with a quality of restraint, a respect for what she encounters in a process of self-creation - "from myself into myself" as her epigraph from Rose Auslander puts it. Sequences about her Australian mother and the loss of her brother are imbued with this same gift: life is celebrated in poems that never forget our mortality: "This is time we have underlined, / remembering what we've done, where we're going" ('Quotidian').
Martyn Crucefix

The poems of ’Acres of Light’ offer a joyful rinsing of the senses. Katherine Gallagher’s lines are rich with flowering almonds and eucalyptus, with exciting explorations of Europe and powerful memories of her Australian childhood. As she faces time and bereavement, there is humour and heroism in Gallagher’s warm enthusiasm for saxophones, robins, the Boeing 747 and the Beatles. This is a book you will wish to be longer. These are poems which love our world.
Alison Brackenbury


Katherine Gallagher's new collection: Acres of Light Acres of Light

Katherine Gallagher

New Poems (Arc Publications, 2016) by Katherine Gallagher
Click for the details
Venue: the Council Room, Menzies Australian Studies Centre, Kings College, Strand. WC1.
Time: 7.15 pm following a seminar talk by Kali Myers at 6 pm.
Guests are welcome to attend the seminar paper by Kali Myers (starting at 6 pm) or to attend only the launch following the seminar at 19.15 for 19.30 pm.

I was very fortunate to be interviewed in June, 2009 by Krystyna Kubiak for the long-running ABC Poetry POETICA programme, Radio National. The programme, a mixture of chat, poetry from my 4th full collection Circus-Apprentice, and music appeared on 27th June, 2009 and the following week 2nd July. The programme was repeated two years later.
Sadly, a few years on and despite vociferous protests, the POETICA Programme was axed, victim to cuts in ABC funding. The closing down of this very popular slot, facilitated over many years by Mike Ladd and his team, bringing poetry and translations from across the world, is an inestimable loss to poetry-lovers in Australia and overseas, and to poets themselves. A great shame. Not by bread alone . . . .
Many thanks to Mike Ladd and Krystyna Kubiak.
To listen to the recording of the interview, please click here and wait for five/ten seconds until it starts.

Poetry & Voice Workshop at Torriano.
NOTE: My Poetry & Voice Workshop will not be continuing in 2016-17.
I will however be doing one-off workshops from time to time.

Creative Writing at the Friends’, 52 Leicester Rd., East Barnet, EN4, 1 – 4 pm, Weds. monthly, July 5. Oct 18, Nov 15, Click here for details.

Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2010) is now available as an E-book from Arc Publications.

This is the film short of my poem, ‘The Year of the Tree’, now on Vimeo.

The film, read by Molly Bourne and directed by Andrew Spicer, with an appearance at the end by Katherine Gallagher, was made in 2015.
Previously, the poem was selected by Carol Rumens for her Guardian ‘Poem of the Week’ Blog.

The Guardian Poem of the week 5th Nov. 2012: The Year of the Tree by Katherine Gallagher
Nature and mythology combine in this playful account of lugging an oak tree through the London Underground
Here’s the link http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/05/poem-of-the-week-katherine-gallagher

Click on Monica Manolachi's Interview to read the interview.

Fish-Rings on Water my 2nd full collection with lino-cuts by Pierre Vella and introduction by Peter Porter is now available in the Kindle Store. Here’s the link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DRY446W

Passengers to the City, my first full collection (Hale & Iremonger) with poems of travel, family, love and landscape, published in 1985, is now available in the Kindle Store. Here’s the link http://amzn.com/B00MCYLW4A

Katherine Gallagher Archive - included in the Shaw Collection at the James Cook University, Townsville
The Katherine Gallagher Collection contains all my books of poetry, published in Australia and in the UK plus Miscellaneous Papers.
For information concerning access to the Katherine Gallagher Collection, please contact Bronwyn McBurnie, Special Collections Librarian, Information and Research Support, James Cook Universiy, Townsville, Qld. 4811. Australia.
Email: bronwyn.mcburnie@jcu.edu.au - Web: http://www.jcu.edu.au

June 24–26, 2016, St. Clementin Bilingual Literary Festival
Katherine Gallagher is participating with a Reading, Workshop and participation in a Translation Forum.
See Facebook St. Clementin Festival.

Anglo-French Bilingual Festival of Literature at CHARROUX, FRANCE
Following two very successful Bilingual Literary Festivals at St. Clementin in 2012 and 2014 (See below), now there's a delightfully innovative Anglo-French Bilingual Literary Festival from the scenic nearby city of Charroux (Limousin) 27-29 August, 2015. I am participating in several events as follows:

  • Thursday, 27 August (10.30 - 12.30) - 'Not waving but drowning: not drowning but waving'; Interactive workshop on the poet Stevie Smith (her life and poetry)
  • Thursday, 27 August (16.30 - 18.00) - 'From the Carnival to Monet' (talking about and reading from my recent poems)
  • Friday, 28 August (16.30 - 18.30) - Participation in a Bilingual Reading with Gordon and Jacqueline Simms of our poetry, plus a discussion of the rationale of translations, with examples.

Update on the Festival

  The first Franco-British Charroux Literary Festival (http://www.charrouxlitfest.com: facebook.com/charrouxlitfest) was a splendid experience – seeing a beautiful mediaeval town with an abbey and tower dating back to Charlemagne come to life. Throw in enormous energy and goodwill, a three-day Fête de la Littérature and a Salon du Livre, a great mix of visiting authors, poets, novelists; an audience of participants, visitors and locals, a sharing of novels, poetry, plays, discussions, readings and more in both languages, an enormous friendliness --- and you have a stunning Festival. Many thanks to the indefatigable organisers Kate Rose and Christine Collette and to all their volunteers without whom . . .
The list of authors (Left) gives the flavour and I’m sure many will be heading back for the next Charroux Bilingual Literary Festival in August 2017 to renew acquaintances and to absorb the delights of the bilingual experience.
Kate Mosse, much-published novelist and founder of the Orange Prize for Women’s Novels gave several readings to packed audiences and probably inspired some novices to keep on. But as the list shows, she was one author among many. Everyone loved the exchanges, and the delight of enjoying access to both languages. Mystery and crime novels, sometimes short stories were very popular. Poetry too. The French love poetry, their language is at home in it. A further plus, the Salon du Livre illustrated how beautifully they write and illustrate for children.
I enjoyed talking about Stevie Smith who is having a comeback, not before time. Many have heard the poem ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ which in some ways shows her somewhat ambivalent attitude to life and death. Smith often wrote about death but paradoxically her poems are full of life. ‘Man is alone in his carapace, but poetry is a strong way out,’ she said. I also read my own poems and was very pleased to share a bilingual translation event with Gordon and Jocelyn Simms, organisers of the popular St. Clementin Bilingual Literary Festival, the next one due to take place in June, 2016.

The Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library (APRIL) was launched in June 2011. The website’s aim is to promote the study and appreciation of Australian poems and poets. The project is a joint venture between Sydney University, the Copyright Agency (CAL) and Australian Research Council. CAL’s key role is representation of poets’ rights in this project.
Katherine Gallagher’s poems are being digitalised and made available on the APRIL website.

Anglo-French Bilingual Festival of Literature/fête Littéraire Bilingue/ 31st August – September 2nd, 2012
Helen Dunmore, Katherine Gallagher, Isabelle Soulard, David Cooke, Barbara Unkovic, Roger Elkin, Donall Dempsey and others. . .
The Festival was a great success. The following St. Clementin Festival took place from August 29 - 31, 2014 -- also a notable success. Click here KGfestival2012.pdf for details of my contribution et al in 2012.
St. Clementin, 79150, Deux-Sèvres, France
E: gordon.simms@aliceadsl.fr
W: www.stclementinfest.com
Tel: 00 33 (0)5 49 80 22 96
or 00 33 (0) 5 49 72 94 45

The 2014 St. Clementin Bilingual Festival was extremely successful, with bilingual readings and discussions. The principal guests were Michelle Roberts, Blake Morrison, Michel Cordeboeuf, Isabelle Soulard and many others.
I read a selection of my poetry, presented a workshop on Sylvia Plath ‘The blood-jet is poetry’, and planned and directed a tableaux of poems,‘Through a Child’s Eyes’ (English with French translations) from the Anthology published by Poetry Space, ed. Moira Andrew. These poems were read by English and French speakers.



Contents updated on 4th July, 2017, London
Copyright Katherine Gallagher © 2000-2017


My books are now available on Amazon's Kindle, and . . .
Fish-rings on Water shifts
Fish-rings on Water, 1989 shifts, 1997
and from Arc Publications
You can order those below online from my publisher, Arc Publications. Click on the cover page of your choice for more information:
Acres of Light Acres of Light can be purchased from Arc Publications
Acres of Light
Carnival Edge
Carnival Edge: New & Selected poems
Tigers on the Silk Road
Tigers on the Silk Road