Catherine Graham’s most recent poetry collection, The Celery Forest (Wolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books), is a CBC Books Top 10 Canadian Poetry Collection of 2017 and appears on their Ultimate Canadian Poetry List. Her other collections include: Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013, now in its second printing), Winterkill (Insomniac Press, 2010), The Red Element (Insomniac Press, 2008), Pupa (Insomniac Press, 2003) and The Watch (Abbey Press, 1998). Her debut novel Quarry (Two Wolves Press) won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction and “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best Fiction. Quarry was also a finalist for the Fred Kerner Book Award and “The Very Best!” Book Awards for First Book. Winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors Poetry NOW competition and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, her books have been shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, CAA Poetry Award, nominated for the ReLit Award and she has appeared on CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers. Her writing has been published in literary journals in North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland and has been frequently anthologized.
Catherine Graham started to write poetry as a way to explore and make sense of the death of her parents, whom she lost while she was an undergraduate student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. But what began as an outlet for her grief transformed into a passion of its own. She followed this passion to Northern Ireland, where she studied poetry and was influenced by a community of poets and the strong commitment of the Irish people to their writers. While in Northern Ireland, Graham earned an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and published her first collection of poetry. Her work was broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and anthologized in The White Page / An Bhileog Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets (Salmon Publishing, 1999) and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V. Published widely, her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Glasgow Review of Books, Crannóg Magazine, Books Ireland, The Fiddlehead, Room Magazine, LRC, The New Quarterly, CBC Books, and elsewhere.
Graham has read her work at numerous literary venues and festivals including: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Linen Hall Library (Belfast), The Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Open House Bangor Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Crescent Art Centre in Belfast, Ulster University, Surrey New Writers Festival, University of East London CapLet Series, The Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, Thessaloniki International Book Fair, 4th International Congress of Language and Literature, Linares, Mexico, Harbourfont Reading Series, Canada House, Trafalgar Square (London), The Word on the Street, The Scottish Arts Club (Edinburgh), the Edmonton Poetry Festival, The Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series, University of Saskatchewan, Blackwell’s Bookstore, Edinburgh, and the Tree Reading Series.
Graham now lives and writes in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing, mentors privately and, along with fellow U of T School of Continuing Studies writing instructors Ibi Kaslik and Ken Murray, helps run The Platform Reading Series. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.