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  • In the Dark (Tightrope Books) 2006
  • Love in Four Positions (Leaf Press) 2003
  • Coming Up For Air (Cranberry Tree Press) 2002
    This poem was chosen for poetry anthology contest.
  • This I Believe (Mini Mocho Press) 2001
  • The White Page / An Bhileog Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets (Salmon Publishing) 1999
    Poets include: Eavan Boland, Iris Murdoch, Medbh McGuckian
  • Signals: An Anthology of Poetry & Prose (Abbey Press) 1997
    Authors include: Michael Longley, Robert McLiam Wilson, Ian Duhig



  • Novel
  • Poetry Collection (Forthcoming 2008)


What the critics have said about Catherine's first book of poetry, Pupa:

Pupa, Catherine Graham's first book length collection has much to recommend it. Graham has the haiku sensibility: not the Orientally measured form which, in English, can appeal only to the eye, but the talent for the evocative image succinctly expressed… Her best work is at once brief, yet resonant…the sophistication of their brevity, remind me of Roethke.

The second section, Pupa, groups poems variously around "doll"…Graham also reminds us of the way we use our dolls: their life is one we make, we tell our secrets, vent our angers upon them or pretend they worry or anger as we do, and use them to image or understand the grownup world. But dolls, we recall, are mute, imprisoned; their life is only in our imagination. Our first babies, they have dead eyes.

Imago, the third section of the book, represents the adult, the winged poet, emerged into sexual and social maturity…The last poem of the section, "Imago", represents the energy of emergence, refigures the basic moth/butterfly image of the book, and, placed where it is, celebrates the emergence of poetry.

-from The Fiddlehead - M. Travis Lane

Young poet Graham's Pupa is a debut collection of graceful concision and surprising wisdom…The 15 short poems in the section Pupa imagine a strange, haunting netherworld of dolls, and the concluding Imago section completes the poet's work with the exhilarating, self-birthing, final words:

Pump in air, escape the crippling,
Drain of red. It's time, it's time.

Dew receives meconium.
Dawn the quite. Imago. Up.

-from the Times-Colonist (Victoria, B.C.) - Joseph Blake

Like Dalton, Catherine Graham tends toward concision and careful attention to sound, though she's more circumspect in approach and more sardonic in attitude
The poems in Pupa, her first collection, are spiky little meditations so taut and tightly controlled they are almost claustrophobic…The poems' effect is all the more intense as a result. As she puts it in one passage, "Grief is like waiting for fifty / giant black kettles to boil."

Graham started publishing her poetry in British and Irish journals and anthologies, so she's probably better known overseas than here. This impressive collection should put her on the Canlit map.

-from The Toronto Star- Barbara Carey
Full review available on-line

In her powerful new collection, Pupa, Catherine Graham continues to explore the journey, through mourning the deaths of her parents that she began in her previous chapbook, The Watch…
Like the enigmatic beauty of a sad smile, the poet attaches many-layered meanings to everyday objects and activities…Several poems focus on dolls in which the poet skillfully distills the pangs of childhood and womanhood alike…. Themes of forced silence and smiles make the dolls the repositories of a woman's anguish.
But the beginning of new love completes the collection. A lover's eyes stand out as, "cornflowers blossom in a crowded room," a lover playfully shampoos a woman's hair to her "pleasured cries for help."…
Graham's jewel-like poems reflect facets of loss, grief, and love.

-from Independently Reviewed - Janice Battiste, New York

What the critics have said about Catherine Graham's first poetry chapbook, The Watch:

The collection is a sequence of (mostly) elegiac poems on the deaths of both mother and father. If quiet in tone, the poems are certainly not quiet in spirit: the language is intimate, direct and colloquial. Lyrical and narrative, the poems employ metaphor and rhythm subtly and evocatively, giving the apparently prosaic a transcendent emotional relevance, allowing grief a form in discrete images and well-turned lines … "The Sweater" epitomizes Graham's elegiac art: not transcending grief, but not allowing grief to render the sufferer silent; memorializing the tragic fact of life; assenting even to that.

-from The Danforth Review - Geoffrey Cook

Full review available on-line: www.danforthreview.com


Graham employs careful language, often beginning with a token to sound a well of memories - buttons, the unbroken watch recovered from her father's fatal car accident, the Christmas gift of a sweater worn at her mother's funeral…poems display dense, complex moods, as in "Undertow" and "Black Kettles", with startling dove-tailed images…poems modulate the grief and present a character with telling strokes: the grandmother in "Red" is a gold-toothed gardener who tolerates thistles…Eight-year olds witness the father flipping a run-over toad in "mid-leap stretch" from its "tarmac skillet" (Pursuit of Grasshoppers)… Now returned to her native southwestern Ontario Graham is a young poet whose work should be closely attended to.

-from Arc, Winter, 2002 - Cheryl Sutherland


Unity of theme makes this a satisfying chapbook. It's a sequence about the poet's parents and is coloured throughout by love and loss. Moving anecdotes are faithfully recorded and Graham's impressive command of form prevents the tumble into sentimentality. The words of her poem "Back to the Quarry" draw attention to her method: "Dive in. Become one with water before it freezes." She dives sensually into experience and enables the reader to follow. She writes what happens so that it happens again. It's an appealing collection, full of telling and specific detail.

-from Poetry Ireland Review 61 - Aine Miller


…work by Michael Longley and Brendan Kennelly, and their latest batch of pamphlets, which includes work by Joan Newmann and Catherine Graham, help seal its reputation as a publisher of quality…The Watch is prefaced by a quote from Raymond Carver on the passage of time ("Time was, time was, those ragged birds cry"), and certainly the theme of transience and loss pervades throughout…The title poem, The Watch, is a powerful evocation of her father's death in a road accident. Here the narrator is well under control and the image-maker comes to the fore:

Later, after the black skid…
My father's watch, still ticking,
unzipped from the O.P.P.'s plastic.
No cracks, the glass smooth to touch.
Dry mud-flakes sprinkle like ashes
On to my opening hand.

Strong, too, is the imagery in Black Kettles, the last poem in the collection. Graham tells us that "Grief is like waiting/ for fifty black kettles to boil", and we certainly feel the gradual resolution in each of these poems. Graham has much promise as a poet, and makes one eager to read a full collection of her work.

- from InCognito, Volume 2 (Dublin, Ireland) - Nessa O'Mahony


Graham's poems swoop down cleverly on the ordinary, and unpraised; memory is important here:

This surface for long-legged spiders
once cleansed adolescent skin.
Plunge into this limestone museum.

Mingle with rusty 1890's machinery…
- "Back to the Quarry"

…language resurrects and at the same time revivifies the ordinary, the every day, in a new light:

His handy use for Taster's Choice empties.
A coin-relay from his coat or suit pockets,
to the nicked bone china saucer
until he poured the overflow into another jar…
- "Small Change"


-from Books Ireland, April 1999 - Fred Johnston

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