Performing poetry in written in response to the Barbican Gallery's exhibition 'Lee Krasner: Living Colour'  [photo: Catarina Rodrigues]

Katie is an alum of the Barbican Young Poets programme, the Writing Squad scheme and the Burn After Reading poetry community. Her work has been published in anthologies including 'She Is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women' (Macmillan UK, 2018) and 'Hallelujah for 50ft Women' (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), and in poetry publications including Magma and Popshot.
Since graduating from Classics at Durham University, Katie has has since facilitated lectures, talks and poetry workshops for schools and institutions, including her old uni.  She has most experience workshopping with young people on the subject of queer poetic inheritance, especially in relation to the fragments of Sappho, the subject of her undergraduate dissertation for which she was awarded the Maltby Exhibition Prize.  She also has experience working with and teaching primary school pupils and secondary school young adults. 

A poetry and classical music collaboration between Katie Byford and Athanasia Kontou (right), facilitated by the Writing Squad and Royal Northern College of Music; music performed by Brian Low (centre left) and Lucy Temby  [photo: Steve Dearden]

News
•In February 2020, Katie was invited back to Durham University for a second time to lead a lecture and discussion for the Classics department on the subject of her poetry and its links to ancient mythology and literature. The lecture was given as part of the Classical Receptions and Contemporary Culture course.

Leading the Cyber-Dada poetry workshop alongside other Barbican Young Poets as part of Artist and the Machine Day at the Barbican Centre  [photo: Oliver Goodrich]

•On 22nd July 2019, Katie performed poetry in the Barbican Gallery as part of a Young Barbican Night celebrating the feminist contemporary artist Lee Krasner and the Barbican's exhibition of her artworks. This was the culmination of a commission in which current and former Young Barbican artists and poets created work in response to the paintings of Krasner, for the first solo exhibition of her work in Europe for fifty years. Katie performed this poetry at other events in the gallery throughout the summer as well as a day of pop-up performances for the general the public.
•On 10th June 2019, Katie delivered poetic works-in-progress for the Community View of the Barbican's new exhibition 'Lee Krasner: Living Colour'.  Performed alongside other creative responses by current and former Young Barbican Creatives as part of the 'Young Guides' initiative, Katie's commission explores Krasner's complex relationship with fame and interrogates our collective critical eye in the gallery space.
•On 26th May 2019, Katie delivered workshops at the Barbican as part of their Artist and the Machine day, a celebration of the opening of the exhibition 'AI: More Than Human'.  The workshops, delivered by a group of current and former Barbican Young Poets, explored themes of automation and humanity in poetry, and used Dadaist techniques to break down the text of phishing scams and Google autofilled searches.

Courtesy of Popshot; illustration by Aiste Stancikaite 

OLDER NEWS:
•On 25th March 2019 Katie performed poetry at the Houses of Parliament as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for poetry. The group was established in 2019 to focus the efforts of MPs and peers in supporting the growth and development of poetry opportunities in the UK.
•On 15th March 2019, Katie delivered a lecture for the Durham Classics & Ancient History department, as a part of the department's Classical Receptions and Contemporary Culture course. Katie read her work and explored its links to ancient literature, inviting a group discussion on the materials. 
•On 28th February 2019, Katie read poetry and joined in discussion of women and poetry, alongside poet Nikita Gill and anthologist Ana Sampson. The evening, which took place at Southlands Arts Centre, celebrated the release of the anthology 'She Is Fierce: brave, bold and beautiful poems by women' (Macmillan UK). You can find the Facebook event for the reading here
•On 15th March 2019, Katie delivered a lecture for the Durham Classics & Ancient History department, as a part of the department's Classical Receptions and Contemporary Culture course. Katie read her work and explored its links to ancient literature, inviting a group discussion on the materials. 
•On 28th February 2019, Katie read poetry and joined in discussion of women and poetry, alongside poet Nikita Gill and anthologist Ana Sampson. The evening, which took place at Southlands Arts Centre, celebrated the release of the anthology 'She Is Fierce: brave, bold and beautiful poems by women' (Macmillan UK). You can find the Facebook event for the reading here
•On 19th November 2018, Katie joined Ana Sampson at Feel the Fierce, an evening of poetry and discussion at West End Lane Books, to celebrate the release of the recent anthology 'She Is Fierce: brave, bold and beautiful poems by women'. 
•Katie's poetry (and image) featured in the Barbican's exhibition 'Constructing Voices', on at the Barbican Library during October 2018. Celebrating 10 years of the Barbican Young Poets programme, the exhibition forms part of the Barbican Centre's 2018 season 'The Art of Change', that explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.
•On 6th September, 'Not Andromeda' was published by Macmillan Children's Books in Ana Sampson's anthology 'She Is Fierce: brave, bold and beautiful poems by women', alongside poets such as Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson and Carol Ann Duffy.
•A songwriting collaboration between Katie and composer Athanasia Kontou came to fruition in a concert at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music on the 26th June 2018. The song, 'Odysseus/Penelope', was performed at by pianist Brian Low and vocalist Lucy Temby. A recording is available here.
• Katie was invited to give a talk at the academic conference 'Threads', held by the University College Feminist Society in Durham on the 14th June 2017.
•Last year, Katie was commissioned by the Durham University Palatinate Orchestra to write seven poems in response to seven pieces of classical music, for their 'A Day in the City' concert (reviewed by Music Durham here). She then performed these works in tandem with the orchestra's recital of the pieces themselves in the Great Hall of Durham Castle on the 5th March 2017. 
Previous commissions include the Wellcome Collection, the Horniman Museum and South Bank University's Borough Road Gallery.

Durham University Palatinate Orchestra's concert, 'A Day in the City'. 

For more information on poetry, talks or workshops, do get in touch using the form below.
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