Katie is an autistic and chronically ill performance poet with a soul full of stories that can’t be contained. They write complicated metaphors about serious things like sickness, loss, and love. Their poetry is vivid and aching to be heard.
Katie began their career in the arts as a Slam Poet, winning the SLAMbassadors National Youth Slam in 2014, and competing in the prestigious Roundhouse Poetry Slam in 2017. They have performed their poetry at events including Shambala and Greenbelt Festivals, Beatfreeks’ Festival of Audacity, and at Warwick Arts Centre’s Solo Fest; and worked closely with the National Autistic Society on a variety of performances and awareness campaigns, including supporting Henry Normal at a Valentines day fundraiser in 2017.
Since falling ill with a chronic illness that has left them permanently physically disabled, Katie has by necessity expanded their practice beyond the spoken word circuit. They have developed their own style of poetic storytelling, and begun to create longer form work for theatre, which explores themes of disability, environmentalism, and nature. In this style, they have produced work for Homotopia Festival and Theatre Absolute’s Humanistan Season, and are currently working on a Reform the Norm commission from Unlimited and City of Culture, for which they are working with Coventry’s Herbert Gallery to create a response to their natural history collection.
In 2019, Katie worked with musician Elle Chante to found the Radical Body Collective, a disability arts organisation that aims to produce radical new arts by and for disabled people, as well as providing advice, feedback, and career support for disabled artists. Radical Body is supported by The Belgrade Theatre as a part of their Springboard programme. As Radical Body, Elle and Katie have been working on the show Seasick, an interdisciplinary work of performance art that uses poetry and music to explore a spiritual relationship between chronic illness and the sea. For Shoot Festival 2019, Elle and Katie created a short form version of Seasick, which was positively received, and went on to be performed at The Barbican Theatre as a part of the 2019 CRIPtic Pit Party.
The full length version of Seasick is a work in progress, and is supported by Warwick Arts Centre, New Wolsey Theatre, Ramps on the Moon, and Arts Council England.
Katie is currently working on Planet Alex, a solo play about an autistic teenager who meets an alien living in her back garden. They have written Planet Alex with the support of two Talking Birds Nest Residencies.