This Saturday morning at the Morrab Library, three Poets read from their three new pamphlets:

Katrina Naomi reads from Hooligans

Penelope Shuttle reads from In the Snowy Air

Alice Kavounas reads from Thin Ice

Katrina Naomi

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Katrina is a poet, tutor and poetry mentor. Her latest publication is Hooligans, a pamphlet inspired by the Suffragettes, Rack Press. Her collection The Way the Crocodile Taught Me will be published by Seren in 2016.

Her poetry has appeared in ‘The TLS’, ‘The Poetry Review’, ‘The Spectator’, and on Radio 4. She received a PhD in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths in 2014 and an award from the Royal Literary Fund. She is a 2015 Hawthornden Fellow.

Katrina’s first full collection, The Girl with the Cactus Handshake, was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award and received an Arts Council England writer’s award. Katrina is a previous winner of the Templar Poetry Competition. She is a lecturer at Falmouth University.

Katrina Naomi’s poems are fresh and surprising…with their sharp diction, salt tang, blend of dark and light, and their unexpected last lines – Roddy Lumsden

Penelope Shuttle

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‘In my poetry I give primacy to the breath. For me it is the way the poem breathes that gives it form.’

Penelope Shuttle has lived in Cornwall since 1970, is the widow of the poet Peter Redgrove, and has a grown-up daughter Zoe, who works in the field of sustainable energy. Her first collection of poems, The Orchard Upstairs (1981) was followed by six other books from Oxford University Press, The Child-Stealer (1983), The Lion from Rio (1986), Adventures with My Horse (1988), Taxing the Rain (1994), Building a City for Jamie (1996) and Selected Poems 1980-1996 (1998), and then A Leaf Out of His Book (1999) from Oxford Poets/Carcanet, and Redgrove’s Wife (2006) and Sandgrain and Hourglass (2010) from Bloodaxe Books. Redgrove’s Wife was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2006. Sandgrain and Hourglass is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her latest book, Unsent: New & Selected Poems 1980-2012(Bloodaxe Books, 2012), is drawn from ten collections published over three decades plus a new collection, Unsent. First published as a novelist, her fiction includes All the Usual Hours of Sleeping (1969), Wailing Monkey Embracing a Tree (1973) and Rainsplitter in the Zodiac Garden (1977). With Peter Redgrove, she is co-author of The Wise Wound: Menstruation and Everywoman (1978) and Alchemy for Women: Personal Transformation Through Dreams and the Female Cycle (1995), as well as a collection of poems, The Hermaphrodite Album (1973), and two novels, The Terrors of Dr Treviles: A Romance (1974) and The Glass Cottage: A Nautical Romance (1976). Shuttle’s work is widely anthologised and can be heard on The Poetry Archive Website. Her poetry has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and her poem ‘Outgrown’ was used recently in a radio and television commercial. She has been a judge for many poetry competitions, is a Hawthornden Fellow, and a tutor for the Poetry School. She is current Chair of the Falmouth Poetry Group, one of the longest-running poetry workshops in the country. In the Snowy Air marks a change of direction in Penelope Shuttle’s work – shifting from elegy to explorations of cities – both actual and metaphoric. The significant impetus for this sequence of poems is a guided walk led by poet Tom Chivers on a cold February afternoon in 2013. Tom took a group along the route of the long-buried ‘lost’ Walbrook River, from Shoreditch to its outflow in the Thames near Canon Street Station This walk in sleet and icy winds inspired the title poem —’In the Snowy Air’.

The poetry of Penelope Shuttle, spanning a successful 30-year writing career, conjures a world where the ordinary and the everyday are realised and enlivened through myth, magic and fantasy.


Alice Kavounas

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Alice is a poet as well as creator of the new app, Words in Air. Her latest publication, Thin Ice, follows Ornament of Asia, both from Shearsman. 

Ornament of Asia speaks with disciplined eloquence of familiar territory: the poet’s early years in Manhattan, her current home in Cornwall, her father’s native Greece.” (Natalie Pollard, TLS)

Born in Manhattan to Greek parents, Alice read English Literature at Vassar. She lives on the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, following an intensely urban life in NY and London, teaches via the Poetry School, London, and is married to British historian Frederick Taylor. Over the years, her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Out of Fashion (selected by Carol Ann Duffy, Faber), Poems and Reading for Funerals(selected by Julia Watson, Penguin), Acumen, New England Review / Bread Loaf Quarterly, London Magazine, LRB, Magma, PN Review, The TLS, as well as broadcast on the BBC and ABC. Her short stories have been published in Granta and London Magazine.

Alice is working virtually, from the Lizard, buildingWords in Air, this unique poetry-in-place app, with Seattle-based developer John Kennedy. Available on the iOS platform,. for both iPhone and iPad, Words in Air maps a poem’s source of inspiration. You can enjoy great poems, contemporary and classic, in the precise place which sparked the poet’s inspiration. A world of poetry instantly in the palm of your hand. 

Thin Ice takes the reader on an odyssey of the imagination, with poems whose sources range from a childhood in Maine, to NYC of the Vietnam era, to our paranoid post-9/11 world. There is a measure of relief in the quotidian pleasures of our beleaguered natural environment, whether from a terrace on a Greek island, or the poet’s garden in Cornwall. Thin Ice follows Alice Kavounas’ earlier collections, Ornament of Asia, and The Invited.