Katrina Naomi

Katrina Naomi’s third full collection, Wild Persistence, will be published by Seren in June 2020. Katrina was awarded an Authors’ Foundation grant from the UK’s Society of Authors to complete the collection. Her fourth poetry pamphlet, Typhoon Etiquette, was published in 2019 by Verve Poetry Press and was inspired by atrip to Japan on an Arts Council-funded project. Her poetry has appeared on Poems on the Underground, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and Poetry Please, and in the TLS, Poetry Review and Modern Poetry in Translation. She received a BBC commission for National Poetry Day in 2018, and her poetry was highly commended in the 2017 Forward Prize for Poetry. Katrina was the first writer in residence at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in W Yorks, and has since been poet in residence at the Arnolfini, Gladstone’s Library and the Leach Pottery. She has a PhD in creative writing (Goldsmiths) and tutors for Arvon, Ty Newydd and the Poetry School.

Headshot of Katrina Naomi smiling, wearing a colourful blouse, bright blue earings and white flowers in her hair

Photo: Tim Ridley


The Red Letter Library »

An installation of poems responding to book cover designs by Talwin Morris

Thu 5 March - Sun 8 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer


Taking Off Billy Collins’s Clothes

It will be morning.
I will ask him to place his second cup
of espresso back in its saucer
as quietly as I know he can
and rise from the typewriter.
I will lead him to another window
where it will be snowing –
this and the horses distract him
while I ease off his jacket,
pull his lemon cashmere sweater over his head.
He will scarcely notice while he listens
for the sound snow makes, slipping away
to a reverie of landscapes he’s yet to visit.
As I unbutton his jeans, 
his coffee breath
blurs the glass momentarily.
I cannot tell you everything
but he kicks away the crumpled denim
as if shrugging off something half-remembered
and I feel that he’s stopped himself
from murmuring something wry,
sensing I may prefer silence.


Katrina Naomi

Forthcoming in Wild Persistence (Seren, 2020)