Catherine Graham: Bio

Note: Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric now out with Wolsak & Wynn, Buckrider Books.
The Most Cunning Heart (novel), Spring 2022, Palimpsest Press.
Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead appears Spring 2023, Wolsak & Wynn, Buckrider Books.

Catherine Graham’s sixth poetry collection, The Celery Forest (Wolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books), is a CBC Books Top 10 Canadian Poetry Collection of 2017, appears on their Ultimate Canadian Poetry List and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence In Poetry. 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“The Very Best!” Book Awards for First Book and the 2018 Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction. Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, her seventh collection, was longlisted for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards.

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 to talk about her debut novel Quarry and also why she loves the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. Her writing has been published in literary journals in North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland and has been frequently anthologized. Æther: An Out-of-Body LyricWolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books, is her most recent collection. Read an excerpt here: Glasgow Review of Books, IceFloe Press, The Bangor Literary Journal. Her second novel, The Most Cunning Heart, appears Spring 2022 with Palimpsest Press and her eighth poetry collection, Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead appears Spring 2023 with Wolsak & Wynn, Buckrider Books. A chapbook with Knife | Fork | Book is forthcoming.

Catherine Graham
Photo by Marion Voysey

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 internationally, her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Arc Poetry Magazine, Glasgow Review of Books, Crannóg Magazine, Books Ireland, The Fiddlehead, Room Magazine, LRC, The New Quarterly, CBC Books, Poem in Your Pocket Day, The Bangor Literary Journal, nominated for the 2020 National Magazine Award by Exile Magazine, shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and have won the Arc Poetry Magazine’s Arc Award of Awesomeness.

Graham has read her work at numerous literary venues and festivals including: Poetry Ireland, University College Dublin, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Linen Hall Library (Belfast), The Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Open House Bangor Festival, The Edinburgh Festival FringeCrescent 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, The Mitchell Library, Glasgow and the Tree Reading Series.

Graham now lives and writes in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing, mentors privately, leads the Toronto International Festival of Authors Book Club, is an interviewer for Humber School of Creative & Performing Arts / Toronto International Festival of Authors By the Lake Book Club and the Writers’ Trust of Canada The Re-Read. She is also an Editor for Watch Your Head and the anthology Watch Your Head: Responding to the Climate Crisis (Coach House Books).

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.