Katie Byford is a poet living in London and has recently graduated from Durham University with a degree in Classics. In 2009 Katie was commended in the Foyle Young Poets competition. Following a subsequent commendation in the Young Poets on the Underground contest run by Transport for London, she joined the Barbican Young Poets, and was allowed the space to develop her poetry in a supportive and engaging environment, working on the written as well as the performative aspects of her work. From there she became a member of the Burn After Reading community, and has had work published in Magma and Popshot as well as in an anthology of women’s poetry entitled Raving Beauties: Hallelujah for 50ft Women, published by Bloodaxe Books in 2015.
Her commissions include poetry for the Wellcome Collection’s Sexology Season and for an exhibition of David Bomberg’s paintings held by Borough Road Gallery. Most recently, she was commissioned by the Durham University Orchestral Society to write a sequence of poems in response to seven orchestral pieces, which she then performed in the Durham Castle’s Great Hall in tandem with the orchestra. In this way, Katie enjoys exploring possible connections between art forms. To this end, while attending university she founded an independent arts platform called Thorn, whose mission was to bring the arts together through events, exhibitions and publication online. Her degree in Classics has in part focused on the reception of ancient Greek and Latin poetry in modern art, music and literature, and ancient themes and language have greatly informed her work. She is currently engaged in branching into screenwriting and filmmaking, as well as working on developing her film photography skills.