Poet’s work in print

Date: Friday 16th June 2017
Katie Hale, Shap.
Katie Hale, Shap.

AWARD-winning Eden-based writer Katie Hale launched her debut poetry pamphlet in Penrith this month at a successful event held at Penrith’s Old Fire Station venue.

Katie is the winner of the 2017 Jane Martin Poetry Prize, based at Girton College, Cambridge. She also recently travelled to Dublin, where she was shortlisted for the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize.

Having moved around from London to Scotland and then to Australia, Katie now lives near Shap, just two doors down from the house she grew up in. She runs freelance poetry workshops in schools and hosts the Word Mess open mic night for Eden Arts at the Old Fire Station in Penrith.

The pamphlet, Breaking the Surface, is published by London-based poetry press Flipped Eye and deals with themes of transformation and buried stories. Katie said: “A lot of my inspiration comes from just sitting — something not many of us give enough time to. In our fast-paced ‘post-truth’ world, I think it’s more important than ever to stop and understand our own emotional truths, what is going on under the surface, and what it is that makes us human.”

This year’s T. S. Eliot Prize winner, poet Jacob Polley, described Breaking the Surface as “attuned to both the mythic and the quotidian”. He said, the poems “are full of the delighted surprise and sadness of being alive. Read them and be thrilled.”

Following the Penrith launch event, Katie said a “massive thank you” to everyone who attended. She said she had had a great night and it had been lovely to see so many people there.

All is not lost for anybody who could not make it to the first launch evening, as Katie now has a further two poetry readings lined-up. The first, at Crosthwaite memorial hall, Crosthwaite, Kendal, on Friday, 7th July, will be a joint event with Pauline Yarwood, who has published a pamphlet called Image Junkie. The evening will feature readings from Dove Cottage Young Poets with music from Caroline Gilfillan.Then, on Thursday, 20th July, Katie will again be reading from Breaking the Surface, this time at the Cakes & Ale Cafe, Bookends, Carlisle. There will also be an open mic session.