I am a poet interested in misogyny, queer corporeality, chronic illness and post-trauma. I studied Classics at Durham University, and am interested in mythmaking as a means of processing traumatic and incomprehensible experiences.
I am the current recipient of a Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP) grant from the Arts Council, which will partly fund the further development of my book-length work on bats, under the mentorship of Fiona Benson.
My poetry pamphlet, He Said I Was a Peach, was published in 2021 with ignitionpress, part of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre. You can buy a copy here.
I was the 2020 winner of the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, judged by Fiona Benson. Read my winning poem, 'Appetit', here.
I was in the 2022/23 cohort of The London Library's Emerging Writers Programme, and am an alum of the Barbican Young Poets and the Writing Squad. My poem 'a moth' was shortlisted in The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2024.
My poems have been published online in bath magg, and in print with Modern Poetry in Translation (subsequently published online here), Magma, Popshot and Finished Creatures, among others.
A commission for the Barbican Gallery's exhibition 'Lee Krasner: Living Colour'. Photo: Catarina Rodrigues
He Said I Was a Peach
Published in 2021 by ignitionpress
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. 
— Fiona Benson
links to other work: