PROFILE: Katrina Porteous | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Joe Graham

Having lived on the Northumberland coast since 1987, landscape-based poet Katrina Porteous praises the inspiration of the natural world. “I live on the edge, that meeting place of land and sea, which is constantly in flux, an exciting place for a writer.”

Katrina is best known for her innovative radio poetry. She writes to be heard out loud. Creating poetry about a specific area and its people embraces the various voices of that place, which benefit from being spoken aloud. Seizing the opportunity to perform her work before a live audience, Katrina is thrilled to have been selected by performance poetry organisation Apples & Snakes to take part in the latest adventure of the Deranged Poetesses at ARC, Stockton on Saturday 20th July. “I’m new to the performance poetry circuit so I’m delighted to be performing my work alongside these other female and non-binary artists from across the North of England.”

The brief for each of the poets is to produce and perform work on the theme of Space Exploration to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. Blending poetry, performance, music and projected visuals in the Japanese PechaKucha tradition, each creation will last exactly 13 minutes. Having created three works for the Planetarium at Newcastle’s Centre for Life in collaboration with computer music pioneer Peter Zinovieff, Katrina Porteous selected one of these – Field – to reconfigure for this live performance.

For Katrina, the physics of the universe is pure poetry. And for those of us who recoil at the word ‘physics’, she has this to say: “You don’t need to know anything about science and space to enjoy this piece. Field is about the mysterious beautiful realities which underlie our world. It explores the strange quantum worlds created at the Big Bang, in a conversation between the poetry, the music and real space photographs.”

As ‘poet’ has always been her primary identity, how does ‘deranged poetess’ sit as a label? Katrina laughs, “I’ve never defined myself as either a poetess or deranged but I’m excited to be performing alongside other female poets and as a poet, it’s difficult to fit in well with society, so yes, it works for me.”


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