In 2004, I was selected both as one of Mslexia’s ‘Top Ten New Women Poets’ and as one of the PBS/Arts Council’s ‘Next Generation’ – for the ‘most exhilarating new work published in the last ten years.’ I’ve been short-listed for The Aldeburgh/Jerwood Prize and for two Forward Prizes, and my poetry is widely anthologised by poetry publishers, including Penguin Books, Granta, Bloodaxe and The Emma Press.


The New Cockaigne was published by Frogmore Press in the autumn of 2014:

“Delicious, delightful and more than a little bit frightening, Catherine Smith’s The New Cockaigne creates a verbal feast of sexual, gastronomic and alcoholic excesses. A fascinating satire on how totalitarian thought processes imprison us all.” – Ros Barber

Otherwhere was published by Smith-Doorstop in 2012:

“Seductive and hugely enjoyable … a celebration of the human condition by a poet at the top of her game” — Neil Rollinson

‘Catherine Smith’s poems are at once visceral and delicate. The mythical seeps through the tang and stench of the everyday and asserts itself, triumphant and strange.’

Lip (Smith/Doorstop 2008) was shortlisted for the 2008 Forward Prize for best collection:

“From its first poem, ‘Lip’ is a surprising journey – to somewhere at the same time familiar and disturbing. These restless poems dare to push against the half-shut doors of adolescence, parenthood and female sexual experience and explore their strangeness. In ‘Ewe’ and in the remarkable ‘Lapse’ sequence in particular, Catherine Smith gives erotic poetry a fresh voice and a whole new album of images.” – Susan Wicks

‘Funny and intelligent – a uniquely comic-serious exploration of the conflicts between contemporary mores and physical desires.’ -Daljit Nagra

My first full collection, The Butcher’s Hands (Smith/Doorstop), was short-listed for the Aldeburgh/Jerwood Prize and was a PBS Recommendation:

‘Each of these poems is startling and original. They are enigmatic, unpredictable: reach the end of a piece, and you need to re-read it immediately.’ – The Independent.

 The New Bride , (Smith/Doorstop, 2001) was a first-stage winner in The Poetry Business book and pamphlet competition, and was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, 2001.

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