A commission for the Barbican Gallery's exhibition Lee Krasner: Living Colour. Photo: Catarina Rodrigues
I am a poet based in London. My debut pamphlet, He Said I Was a Peach, is available to buy from ignitionpress, part of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre. ​​​​​​​
My poem 'Appetit' came first in the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2020, judged by Fiona Benson.  Read the poem here.
I am an alum of the Barbican Young Poets and The Writing Squad.
My work has been published online in bath magg, and in print in The Alchemy Spoon (forthcoming), Modern Poetry in Translation, Popshot, Magma and anthologies from Bloodaxe and Macmillan.  My poems have been illustrated by Aistė Stancikaitė and Lily Arnold, and have been set to music by Athanasia Kontou, Rebecca Nisco, Jack Selby and others.  
Praise for He Said I Was a Peach
These are breathtaking poems of a strange, deep glamour; their imagery is uncompromising, and their music utterly original. Byford composes on a scale that is entirely her own. She has a preternatural ability to capture other worlds, other Umwelten – Thetis hearing her son’s voice as 'a warm strain / softening the frozen kelp / like piss', or the shuttling dislocations of Arachne – 'weft thin / softning'. These poems return to sites of trauma or eroticism or myth in a way that renders them immediate, dangerous, and unstable; but there is a beautiful act of salvage here. The world is sifted for its stains, blisters and residues, its sensual drives, and the sticky fingers of human longing. Byford is a reckoning, an uncanny and ferocious rising star. 
recent News 
•I have been selected for The London Library's Emerging Writers Programme 2022/23.  I will use the year-long opportunity to continue work on my book-length poem in parts about bats.​​​​​​​
• My poem 'haruspex' will be published in The Alchemy Spoon, available for purchase in the New Year.

My poem 'A Little Plan', published in Popshot and illustrated by Aistė Stancikaitė

music & libretto
I am the writer and director of THE STYX, a cross-disciplinary project which seeks to reframe narratives of trauma and sexual assault towards the possibility of healing, through the myth of Persephone's journey to the Underworld.
We were awarded a project grant from Arts Council England in 2021 to develop the script and score, and will create an accompanying film in 2023.  
The work represents a collaboration with composer Athanasia Kontou and soprano Helene Mathiesen.  Our co-partners are The Writing Squad and PTSD UK with support and advice from EMDR Association UK.​​​​​​​
In 2021, composer Rebecca Nisco set three of my poems to music, to create The Mannequin Set.  These were performed at the Royal College of Music by soprano Catherine Hooper, tenor Harry Grigg and pianist Emily Hoh.  
Listen to moments from their performances here or via the Soundcloud panel.
In 2018, Athanasia Kontou and I met at a series of workshops run by The Writing Squad which paired composers with poets to create new song works.   This songwriting collaboration came to fruition in our piece 'Odysseus/Penelope'. 
 Initially performed at the end of the workshop series, the song was performed again later at a concert at the Royal Northern College of Music, with piano by Brian Low and vocals by Lucy Temby. You can listen to this last performance here or via the Soundcloud panel.​​​​
Photo: Steve Dearden
Photo: Steve Dearden
Photo: Steve Dearden
Photo: Steve Dearden

To contact me please use the form below. 
If you would like to support work, I would appreciate your follow on Twitter and Instagram.
I'll get back to you as soon as possible - k.m.r.
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