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Katherine Gallagher (1935 – )

Katherine Gallagher was born in 1935, in Maldon, Victoria. She grew up on a farm in Eastville, west of Bendigo, and attended a one-teacher school in Eastville, before going to St Mary’s College in Bendigo as a boarder. After leaving school she worked in various occupations, and spent some time hitchhiking around Tasmania and New Zealand, before commencing an Arts Degree at the University of Melbourne in 1960. She graduated with a B.A. and Diploma of Education in 1963, and subsequently taught in Melbourne high schools from 1964 to 1968. She became interested in writing poetry in the early-1960s, and was encouraged in her writing after meeting Judith Wright in 1967, and attending a poetry workshop led by Wright and Bruce Dawe in 1968. In 1969, she left Australia, moving first to London and then, from 1971, Paris, where she taught English. After marrying and starting a family, she returned to London in 1979, where she has lived since. She retains strong connections to Australia and describes herself as an Australian poet resident in the UK.

Gallagher published her first poetry collection with Robert Kenny’s Ragman Productions in 1974. Further Australian publications appeared in 1978 (Tributaries of the Love-Song), 1985 (Passengers to the City), and 2005 (After Kandinsky). She has published a number of other collections in the UK, including a collection of Haiku, Shifts (1997), and a volume of new and selected poems, Carnival Edge (2010). She is active in poetry and community reading groups in London and continues to be involved in mentoring and workshops. Besides her own work, Gallagher has published translations of French poetry.

Poetry Collections
  • The Eye’s Circle (Ivanhoe, Vic: Ragman Productions, 1974).
  • Tributaries of the Love-Song (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1978).
  • Passengers to the City (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1985).
  • Fish-Rings on Water: poems (London: Forest Books, 1989).
  • Finding the Prince (London: Hearing Eye Press, 1993).
  • Shifts (Wisbech, UK: Hub Editions, 1997).
  • Tigers on the Silk Road (Todmoden, UK: Arc Publications, 2000).
  • After Kandinsky (Newtown, NSW: Vagabond Press, [2005]).
  • Circus-Apprentice (Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2006).
  • Carnival Edge: New and Selected Poems (Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2010).
Suggested Further Reading
  • Diane Fahey, ‘Richness in Spareness,’Australian BookReviewno.235 (2001), pp. 47–48.
  • Katherine Gallagher, ‘Australian Poetry as I See It,’ FiveBells10.3 (2003), pp. 24–26.
  • Katherine Gallagher, ‘Statements: Katherine Gallagher,’ in David Brooks and Brenda Walker, eds.,Poetry and Gender: Statements and Essays in Australian Women’s Poetry and Poetics(St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1989), pp. 36–38.
  • Patricia McCarthy, ‘Three Australian Women Poets: Katherine Gallagher, Alison Croggon and MTC Cronin,’Agenda41.1-2 (2005): pp. 179–95.
  • Ted Slade, ‘The Poetry Kit interviews Katherine Gallagher,’ 2000, Internet, http://www.poetrykit.org/iv00/gallagher.htm
  • Lidia Vianu, ‘Posterity Will Judge Harshly Poems that Eschew Feeling: Interview with Katherine Gallagher,’ 2006, Internet, http://www.lidiavianu.scriptmania.com/Katherine%20Gallagher.htm