Cath Drake wants to grasp the world whole. When she looks at the past, it’s with a big rambunctious energy that has implications for the present. These are restless and generous poems, full of the vivid reality of people’s lives. Read them as a guide to staying clear-eyed, combative and caring in unsettled times. (Philip Gross)
Amid all the chaos in the world, my new book is available to order. I’m planning an online book launch in April. Order it from Seren Books
Come to the online launch on 17th of April 8pm or noon 18th April (both in UK time but open to all across the globe) – rsvp.
Read my blog on the book’s release.
Amy Wack, poetry editor, Seren Books: Cath Drake’s native Australia features large in her debut collection of poems, The Shaking City. Author of a Mslexia magazine prize-winning pamphlet, Drake fashions adroit narratives, lush landscapes and keenly observed character portraits. The Shaking City itself stands for both the unease of the narrator and the swiftly changing times we live in.
Helen Mort: Cath Drake’s poems deftly explore conflict and the future of our changing, imperilled planet – in a poem about climate emergency, the narrator muses wryly ‘sometimes I hold world in one hand, my life / in the other’. This is a collection alive to dilemmas. Her writing is searching, witty and full of compassion, helping us navigate a shifting world.
Karen McCarthy Woolf: Cath Drake’s lush, lyric poems are full of inquisitive movement that traverses a network of meridians between her native Australia and the UK. Like midday sun in a desert, their narrative strikes hard in its passionate counterpoint between the absurdities of the human condition and our most urgent environmental concerns.
Kate Potts: In Cath Drake’s The Shaking City, inhabitants and buildings wobble, crack, shudder, unpeel and regrow their own skin. They seek out ways to endure: sturdy-framed lives, bricks strong enough to withstand hurricanes, wolves, and the weight of unspoken trauma. In this world, close and passionate attention is paid to the beauty and strangeness of nature, and of everyday life. The Shaking City’s tall tales explore existence across boundaries, and in between places: the folkloric bunyip appearing in the kitchen, the would-be lovers stuck (perhaps forever) on the circle line, the speaker who catches the hide of the world and fashions it into a handbag. This joyful, exuberant, wildly imaginative collection exhorts us all to unmoor our minds, to ‘live among the strange and shining.
Waymaking, an anthology of prose, poetry and art by women inspired by wild places and outdoor adventure, has been selected as the winner of the Mountain Literature (Non-Fiction) The Jon Whyte Award in the international 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition in Alberta, Canada.
I have a long poetic sequence that is dispersed throughout the book about walking the Camino de Santiago.
“This superb collection of women’s short stories, poems, and illustrations is full of gems from end to end. Waymaking is an immersion into the tears, giggles, sighs, and love that have gone into producing this precious yet ground-breaking work.” Paul McSorley, 2019 Book Competition Jury
It’s also on the Guardian’s top travel gift books.
40 writers to perform in Trafalgar Square on 11th October, 5pm as part of XR’s October Uprising . I’m proud to be part of a team organising this incredible event.
It features poems and prose, about nature, ecology and the current climate crisis from Ali Smith, Naomi Alderman, Chloe Aridjis , AL Kennedy, Helen Simpson, David Harsent, Daljit Nagra, Paul Farley, Glyn Maxwell, Susie Orbach , Philip Hoare, David Graeber, Owen Sheers, Simon Schama, Deborah Moggach, Leone Ross, Rachel Edwards, Anjali Joseph, Toby Litt, Matt Thorne, Gregory Norminton, Tom Bullough, Naomi Ishiguro , Juliet Jacques, Will Eaves, Natalie Haynes, M John Harrison, Susana Medina, Irenosen Okojie , Romesh Gunesekera, Salena Godden, Chris Beckett, Joanna Pocock, Robert Macfarlane.
A reading to celebrate publication of The Filthy Quiet, the new collection from Kate Noakes – with Michelle Penn, Gale Burns , Cath Drake, Kate Potts, Peter Daniels, Jill Abram, and special guest from Paris, Margo Berdeshevsky.
Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, London NW5 2RX
Tue 18th June, 7.30pm
Tickets £5 – all proceeds to Asthma Research.
Refreshments available by donation.
Cath Drake, Kate Potts and Alison Winch read poems from their new and upcoming collections exploring gender, desire, and the natural world. Kate Pott’s new book Feral (Bloodaxe), a PBS recommendation, was described by Tristram Fane Saunders in The Telegraph, who picked it as a Poetry Book of the Month, as ‘musical, joyously weird and filled with moments of pure pleasure’. Alison Winch’s Darling, It’s Me is out in May with Penned in the Margins, described as a fierce and funny book about politics, power, sex and love!
Cath will read her new long poem published as a centrepiece in ‘Waymaking, an anthology of women’s adventure, writing and art’ .
Sunday 17 February, 7.30pm; £5/4 according to pocket – Sign up to read in the open mike
Torriano Meeting House, Kentish Town https://torrianomeetinghouse.wordpress.com/where-we-are/
Come and listen to an incredible line-up of writers and poets and enjoy an art exhibition at ‘The Two of Us’ Festival Fundraiser 23rd February – only £10 (plus booking fee)!
Poets and performers: Amy Acre, Rich Blk Mkoloma, Leo Boix, Steven Camden, Rishi Dastidar, Cath Drake, Dylema, Caleb Femi, Kat Francois, Alba Frederick, Joshua Idehen, Keith Jarrett, Guido Garcia Lueches, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Miriam Nash, Olumide Popoola, Peter Raynard, Roger Robinson, Leone Ross, Amaal Said, Jacob Sam- La Rose, Joelle Taylor and Mark Thompson.
Artists Exhibiting: Antonia Atwood, Annika Cox, Danny F, Zara Hunter, Celine Marchbank, Rikard Österlund, Michelle Rodrigues, Rachelle Romeo, Amaal Said, Paloma Tendero, Elsbeth Van der Poel, Kathryn Watson (My Illustrated Mind) Jasmin Woddis Caron, Naomi Woddis and Amy Jenine Wong. Artist Diane Goldie will be selling her wearable art.
There will be 3 parts of approximately one and a half hours each with plenty of time in between for you to enjoy the exhibition, have a drink from the licenced bar and something to eat or just to mingle and chat.
Doors open at 2 pm. First live set at 3 pm, Reel Rebels Music Studios in Stoke Newington
CLICK HERE TO BOOK!
SUNDAY LUNCH with Mslexia Magazine: Poetry Pamphlet prizewinners
10 February 2019, 1:00-3:00pm
(Must book in Advance)
Mslexia Editor (and novelist) Debbie Taylor joins Seren Poetry Editor Amy Wack in this celebration of seven years of pamphlet prize winners: with Polly Atkin, Cath Drake, Mara Bergman, Ilse Pedler, Yvonne Reddick, Bryony Littlefair. Special guest Welsh poet and singer-songwriter Rhian Edwards.
Poetry readings, music, full 3 course Sunday Lunch. (Veg options)
The whole weekend programme looks great so see you there!
I have a reading and Q&A at a sundowner (with wine) on 28th Sept at 6.30pm, a reading at the Mundaring Library on 9th November at 5.45pm, a writing workshop (Stirring the Writer’s Cauldron) on 13 Oct at 1-4pm and reading at a literary dinner (Mexican food with a Halloween theme!) on 16 Oct.
After the residency I’ve been invited to take part in the spectacular Bali’s writers’ festival! in Ubud.
Wild Writing, 22nd September: Stretch beyond the predictable, re-invent the ordinary, sneak into the surreal, flirt with freefall and have fun taking your writing to unexpected places. Often you have find more powerful truths by stepping aside from reality. Put aside the editor and critic and let your creativity fly. A great antidote to writer’s block, in this workshop you’ll find lots of emerging ideas for poems and stories and gain confidence in your creative muscle.
22nd September, 1.30-4pm, Fremantle Arts Centre. Cost: $30 for members/$35 non- members. Places are limited. Contact Marlish Glorie at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your place.
Reading and Writing Rev-up, 14th Sept: A popular informal workshop of reading and discussing contemporary poets to challenge and excite! Meet at the Fremantle Arts Centre cafe, Friday 14th September, 10am-12, cost is $15. Contact Julie Watts from OOTA writer’s group or message me here to book a place and pay on the day. We need numbers for table booking and handout numbers.
I’m also offering mentoring one-to-one sessions: One-to-one mentoring/feedback sessions at $50/hr for advice, tips and mentoring on poetry writing and publishing, to include feedback on poems. These sessions can help you gain fresh perspectives, impetus, ideas and inspiration. Poetry feedback for 3-4 poems. Limited slots are available. Contact me to book.
Thank you to KSP, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and of course Arts Council England for giving me time to write and helping make this trip possible.
Waymaking is an anthology of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape… it’s exciting to have a long poem in this anthology due for release later in 2018. Woman power!
Published in 1961, Gwen Moffat’s Space Below My Feet tells the story of a woman who shirked the conventions of society and chose to live a life in the mountains. Some years later in 1977, Nan Shepherd published The Living Mountain, her prose bringing each contour of the Cairngorm mountains to life. These pioneering women set a precedent for a way of writing about wilderness that isn’t about conquering landscapes, reaching higher, harder or faster, but instead about living and breathing alongside them, becoming part of a larger adventure.
The artists in this inspired collection continue Gwen and Nan’s legacies, redressing the balance of gender in outdoor adventure literature. Their creativity urges us to stop and engage our senses: the smell of rain-soaked heather, wind resonating through a col, the touch of cool rock against skin, and most importantly a taste of restoring mind, body and spirit to a former equanimity.
With contributions from adventurers including Alpinist magazine editor Katie Ives, multi-award-winning author Bernadette McDonald, adventurers Sarah Outen and Anna McNuff, renowned filmmaker Jen Randall and many more, Waymaking is an inspiring and pivotal work published in an era when wilderness conservation and gender equality are at the fore.
Order your copy with the publisher’s Kickstarter campaign.