Welcome to Katherine Gallagher's website

Katherine Gallagher is a widely-acclaimed poet with eight books published as well as four chapbooks. Born in Australia, Gallagher has lived and worked in London since 1979. She has been an active force in the community, giving poetry readings, running workshops (for adults and children), judging poetry competitions, and participating in poetry festivals.
Her work has been widely reviewed, see Reviews. In addition, Gallagher has undertaken translations (from French) and her reviews of the work of other poets have been extensively published. Gallagher’s own poetry has been translated into French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Romanian, and Serbo-Croat. 


Poetry collections

Acres of Light
Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems
After Kandinsky
Tigers on the Silk Road
The Sleepwalker with Eyes of Clay
Finding the Prince (pamphlet)
Fish-rings on Water
Passengers to the City
Tributaries of the Love-song (pamphlet)
The Eye’s Circle


About Katherine Gallagher


Workshops and courses

Other projects

Children’s poetry
Past Events

Contact and links

(Photo by Marie Hyde)

My Mother’s Horse-shoe Ring

(after Grace Nichols)

Sometimes when I see it
on my index finger
I am reassured,

rub its ruby stone, her gift.
I need this small reminder
of her, its lucky charm

that catches me
like an itinerant fire
chipped from the sun.

(c) Katherine Gallagher

News & events

Since the beginning of lockdown

2020 has been a very difficult year veering around lockdowns and the virus, wearing masks, handwashing and zooming, trying to keep well and to avoid this pernicious virus.

Leicester Rd. Barnet Group:
The Barnet Group has continued to meet, zoomed by Lindsay Fursland on September 22nd, October 20, November 24th and December 15th. Zoom has been marvellous. I can’t imagine what the Covid-19 era would have been like without zoom and skype. We will continue our monthly meetings in 2021.

The Palmers Green Stanza has continued to meet on the 2nd Friday of each month through zoom meetings hosted lately by Julian Bishop and previously by Jude Willetts. The Stanza is a wonderful support-group, with various members regularly appearing in magazines or competition-winners’ lists.

The Palmers Green Group Twice-yearly Readings:
These were unfortunately cancelled in 2020, but we hope we’ll be able to continue them in September 2021 at the latest.

The Barnet Open Poetry Competition has unfortunately had to be cancelled.
This has happened unfortunately, due to the sudden illness of the Competition’s co-founder and organiser, Pam Edwards. It is hoped that this long-running Competition might resume again in 2021.

Along with other poets, I am sad to no longer participate in regular group-readings although it is good and useful to be able to participate in group zoom-launches and so on.

I am very pleased to have regular publication of my children’s poetry on the Australian Children’s Poetry Website, an online site, run by poet Jeanie Axton.

Poetry Workshop on STEVIE SMITH
with Katherine Gallagher - 21st September 2019

This is always a popular workshop examining the Stevie Smith legend and I will be repeating it later in 2020. If you're interested, please click here to email me

Time: Saturday, September 21, 1.30 – 4pm. £27, £21(concs)
Venue: The Community Room, Palmers Green Library, Broomfield Lane, London, N13 4EY
’Who is Stevie?’ The workshop will focus on the enigma of Stevie Smith, her status as ‘’outsider; on the range and voices of her poetry, and her life as a Palmers Green poet with a formidable national reputation. For some of the workshop, participants will use Stevie Smith 'example’-poems as inspiration for writing their own pieces. For more information, follow this link to Stevie Workshops
Note: In September 2002, Katherine Gallagher was Co-Organiser with Palmers Green Bookshop Manager, Joanna Cameron, of the Palmers Green Centenary Festival ‘Ten Days with Stevie Smith’. Stevie said, ‘Man is alone in his carapace. Poetry is a strong way out.’
Click here for more details.

My Trip to Australia 2017 (August 2 – October 9, 2017)

This was a marvellous time, reading to home audiences,
and launching my most recent book of poetry, Acres of Light,
(Arc Publications, 2016)

Here I am, arriving in a frosty sunny Melbourne 2nd August. met by my family. Soon there were wattles everywhere, with trips around central Victoria to drink it in (Whipstick, Kangaroo Flat, Eastville, Maldon, and the State Forest around Bendigo.)

Arrival at Melbourne The Lady of the Watle

I did 4 readings in Australia and am detailing these to give the flavour in a later piece. They were on
  • Sunday, 6th August, in the Athenaeum Library, Maldon.
  • Monday 4th September: Reading and Interview with Josh Inman at Smiths Alternative, 76 Alinga Street, Canberra.
  • Saturday, 16th September, in Bendigo Library.
  • Wednesday, 27th September, at Live Poets at Don Bank, 6 Napier Street, North Sydney.

The White Boat - Barca Alba
(Integral Contemporary Literature Press, 2017)
Parallel Texts/English and Romanian

Acres of Light
by Katherine Gallagher

Published October 2016
paperback 978-1910345-73-3 -- hardback 978-1910345-74-0
ebook 978-1910345-75-7

Blurb comments

Katherine Gallagher's new collection is bejewelled throughout with haiku-like moments of vivid observation. Her delighted responses - in particular to the natural world - serve to peel away the film of familiarity through which we usually gaze. Yet Gallagher combines such excited observation with a quality of restraint, a respect for what she encounters in a process of self-creation - "from myself into myself" as her epigraph from Rose Auslander puts it. Sequences about her Australian mother and the loss of her brother are imbued with this same gift: life is celebrated in poems that never forget our mortality: "This is time we have underlined, / remembering what we've done, where we're going" ('Quotidian').
Martyn Crucefix

The poems of ’Acres of Light’ offer a joyful rinsing of the senses. Katherine Gallagher’s lines are rich with flowering almonds and eucalyptus, with exciting explorations of Europe and powerful memories of her Australian childhood. As she faces time and bereavement, there is humour and heroism in Gallagher’s warm enthusiasm for saxophones, robins, the Boeing 747 and the Beatles. This is a book you will wish to be longer. These are poems which love our world.
Alison Brackenbury


Katherine Gallagher's new collection: Acres of Light Acres of Light

Katherine Gallagher

New Poems (Arc Publications, 2016) by Katherine Gallagher
Click for the details
Venue: the Council Room, Menzies Australian Studies Centre, Kings College, Strand. WC1.
Time: 7.15 pm following a seminar talk by Kali Myers at 6 pm.
Guests are welcome to attend the seminar paper by Kali Myers (starting at 6 pm) or to attend only the launch following the seminar at 19.15 for 19.30 pm.

I was very fortunate to be interviewed in June, 2009 by Krystyna Kubiak for the long-running ABC Poetry POETICA programme, Radio National. The programme, a mixture of chat, poetry from my 4th full collection Circus-Apprentice, and music appeared on 27th June, 2009 and the following week 2nd July. The programme was repeated two years later.
Sadly, a few years on and despite vociferous protests, the POETICA Programme was axed, victim to cuts in ABC funding. The closing down of this very popular slot, facilitated over many years by Mike Ladd and his team, bringing poetry and translations from across the world, is an inestimable loss to poetry-lovers in Australia and overseas, and to poets themselves. A great shame. Not by bread alone . . . .
Many thanks to Mike Ladd and Krystyna Kubiak.
To listen to the recording of the interview, please click here and wait for five/ten seconds until it starts.

Poetry & Voice Workshop at Torriano.
NOTE: My Poetry & Voice Workshop will not be continuing in 2016-17.
I will however be doing one-off workshops from time to time.

Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2010) is now available as an E-book from Arc Publications.

Listen here to the film short of my poem, ‘The Year of the Tree’, on Vimeo.

The film, read by Molly Bourne and directed by Andrew Spicer, with an appearance at the end by Katherine Gallagher, was made in 2015.
Previously, the poem was selected by Carol Rumens for her Guardian ‘Poem of the Week’ Blog.

The Guardian Poem of the week 5th Nov. 2012: The Year of the Tree by Katherine Gallagher
Nature and mythology combine in this playful account of lugging an oak tree through the London Underground
Here’s the link https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/05/poem-of-the-week-katherine-gallagher

Click on Monica Manolachi's Interview to read the interview.

Fish-Rings on Water my 2nd full collection with lino-cuts by Pierre Vella and introduction by Peter Porter is now available in the Kindle Store. Here’s the link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DRY446W

Passengers to the City, my first full collection (Hale & Iremonger) with poems of travel, family, love and landscape, published in 1985, is now available in the Kindle Store. Here’s the link https://amzn.com/B00MCYLW4A

Katherine Gallagher Archive - included in the Shaw Collection at the James Cook University, Townsville
The Katherine Gallagher Collection contains all my books of poetry, published in Australia and in the UK plus Miscellaneous Papers.
For information concerning access to the Katherine Gallagher Collection, please contact Bronwyn McBurnie, Special Collections Librarian, Information and Research Support, James Cook Universiy, Townsville, Qld. 4811. Australia.
Email: bronwyn.mcburnie@jcu.edu.au - Web: https://www.jcu.edu.au

June 24–26, 2016, St. Clementin Bilingual Literary Festival
Katherine Gallagher is participating with a Reading, Workshop and participation in a Translation Forum.
See Facebook St. Clementin Festival.

Anglo-French Bilingual Festival of Literature at CHARROUX, FRANCE
Following two very successful Bilingual Literary Festivals at St. Clementin in 2012 and 2014 (See below), now there's a delightfully innovative Anglo-French Bilingual Literary Festival from the scenic nearby city of Charroux (Limousin) 27-29 August, 2015. I am participating in several events as follows:

  • Thursday, 27 August (10.30 - 12.30) - 'Not waving but drowning: not drowning but waving'; Interactive workshop on the poet Stevie Smith (her life and poetry)
  • Thursday, 27 August (16.30 - 18.00) - 'From the Carnival to Monet' (talking about and reading from my recent poems)
  • Friday, 28 August (16.30 - 18.30) - Participation in a Bilingual Reading with Gordon and Jacqueline Simms of our poetry, plus a discussion of the rationale of translations, with examples.

Update on the Festival

  The first Franco-British Charroux Literary Festival (https://www.charrouxlitfest.com: facebook.com/charrouxlitfest) was a splendid experience – seeing a beautiful mediaeval town with an abbey and tower dating back to Charlemagne come to life. Throw in enormous energy and goodwill, a three-day Fête de la Littérature and a Salon du Livre, a great mix of visiting authors, poets, novelists; an audience of participants, visitors and locals, a sharing of novels, poetry, plays, discussions, readings and more in both languages, an enormous friendliness --- and you have a stunning Festival. Many thanks to the indefatigable organisers Kate Rose and Christine Collette and to all their volunteers without whom . . .
The list of authors (Left) gives the flavour and I’m sure many will be heading back for the next Charroux Bilingual Literary Festival in August 2017 to renew acquaintances and to absorb the delights of the bilingual experience.
Kate Mosse, much-published novelist and founder of the Orange Prize for Women’s Novels gave several readings to packed audiences and probably inspired some novices to keep on. But as the list shows, she was one author among many. Everyone loved the exchanges, and the delight of enjoying access to both languages. Mystery and crime novels, sometimes short stories were very popular. Poetry too. The French love poetry, their language is at home in it. A further plus, the Salon du Livre illustrated how beautifully they write and illustrate for children.
I enjoyed talking about Stevie Smith who is having a comeback, not before time. Many have heard the poem ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ which in some ways shows her somewhat ambivalent attitude to life and death. Smith often wrote about death but paradoxically her poems are full of life. ‘Man is alone in his carapace, but poetry is a strong way out,’ she said. I also read my own poems and was very pleased to share a bilingual translation event with Gordon and Jocelyn Simms, organisers of the popular St. Clementin Bilingual Literary Festival, the next one due to take place in June, 2016.

The Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library (APRIL) was launched in June 2011. The website’s aim is to promote the study and appreciation of Australian poems and poets. The project is a joint venture between Sydney University, the Copyright Agency (CAL) and Australian Research Council. CAL’s key role is representation of poets’ rights in this project.
Katherine Gallagher’s poems are being digitalised and made available on the APRIL website.

Anglo-French Bilingual Festival of Literature/fête Littéraire Bilingue/ 31st August – September 2nd, 2012
Helen Dunmore, Katherine Gallagher, Isabelle Soulard, David Cooke, Barbara Unkovic, Roger Elkin, Donall Dempsey and others. . .
The Festival was a great success. The following St. Clementin Festival took place from August 29 - 31, 2014 -- also a notable success. Click here KGfestival2012.pdf for details of my contribution et al in 2012.
St. Clementin, 79150, Deux-Sèvres, France
E: gordon.simms@aliceadsl.fr
W: www.stclementinfest.com
Tel: 00 33 (0)5 49 80 22 96
or 00 33 (0) 5 49 72 94 45

The 2014 St. Clementin Bilingual Festival was extremely successful, with bilingual readings and discussions. The principal guests were Michelle Roberts, Blake Morrison, Michel Cordeboeuf, Isabelle Soulard and many others.
I read a selection of my poetry, presented a workshop on Sylvia Plath ‘The blood-jet is poetry’, and planned and directed a tableaux of poems,‘Through a Child’s Eyes’ (English with French translations) from the Anthology published by Poetry Space, ed. Moira Andrew. These poems were read by English and French speakers.



Contents updated on 4thd November, 2020, London
Copyright Katherine Gallagher © 2000-2020


My books are now available on Amazon's Kindle, and . . .
Fish-rings on Water shifts
Fish-rings on Water, 1989 shifts, 1997
and from Arc Publications
You can order those below online from my publisher, Arc Publications. Click on the cover page of your choice for more information:
Acres of Light Acres of Light can be purchased from Arc Publications
Acres of Light
Carnival Edge
Carnival Edge: New & Selected poems
Tigers on the Silk Road
Tigers on the Silk Road