Katherine Gallagher

Katherine Gallagher is an award-winning poet who writes for adults and children. Originally from Eastville, central Victoria, she has lived in London since 1979. She has over forty poems for children in a range of British and Australian anthologies. She also has five full-length books of poetry for adults and a book of translations from French.

Encouraged by Lois Beeson, the then Education Officer at the Poetry Society, Katherine, a secondary teacher, started writing poems for primary school children in the mid-1980s. She worked for the W.H. Smith/Poetry Society Poets in Schools’ Scheme, 1990-1995. She also worked with children of all ages (primary and secondary) doing workshops and readings in schools on special poetry days, as well as facilitating mixed media projects: poetry & sculpture, poetry & art (Tate Britain), poetry & nature. She likes Robert Frost’s idea of poetry ‘as a fresh look and a fresh listen’. From 2002-08, she was Education Officer for Writers’ Inc/Blue Nose Poetry, a London project-based group for facilitating poetry-writing in local secondary schools.

Her website www.katherine-gallagher.com gives the texts of many of her children’s poems.

From 1992-1993, she wrote and presented three Wordplay children’s programmes (7-9 years) for BBC Radio.

She is co-founder of the Barnet Arts Open Poetry Competition, held annually since 1993 (details: http://www.barnetarts.org.uk/bbac/index_main.htm) and she has adjudicated the Junior sections (7-11s, 12-16s) almost every year since then.





Email: mail@katherine-gallagher.com

Website: http://www.katherine-gallagher.com

Twitter: @katherinexyz23


Address: 49 Myddleton Road,

London. N22 8LZ.

Telephone: +44 (0)208 881 1418


A Girl’s Head

(after the poem, ‘A Boy’s Head’ by Miroslav Holub)


In it there is a dream

that was started

before she was born,


and there is a globe

with hemispheres

which shall be happy.


There is her own spacecraft,

a chosen dress

and pictures of her friends.


There are shining rings

and a maze of mirrors.


There is a diary

for surprise occasions.


There is a horse springing hooves

across the sky.


There is a sea

that tides and swells

and cannot be mapped.


There is untold hope

in that no equation exactly

fits a head.


(Published in Hubble Bubble ed. Andrews FusekPeters, Hodder Children’s Books, 2003)


©Katherine Gallagher


Count-up to Planet Bed


I’m one for the window

and two for the door.


I’m three for the ceiling

and four for the floor.


I’m five for the morning

and six for the night.


I’m seven for the stairs

and eight for the light.


I’m nine for a story

and ten for my bed.


Now I’m off for a dream

to hold in my head.


(Published in Toothpaste Trouble, ed. Nick Toczek, Macmillan, 2002)

©Katherine Gallagher


Dinosaurs’ Breakfast Special


Urns of slime

and reptiles’ heads,

giants’ feet

and mouldy breads.


Icy hearts

and mountain eggs,

a ton of tongues

and turtle legs.


Frogs and beetles

chewed to gristle,

old pine cones

all spiced with thistle.


Snake-flesh paste

and baby whales

slowly stirred

with heads and tails.


Blackfish eyes

and stingray skin

mixed and mixed

till slimy thin.


All gulped down

with spidery glue

which sleepy dinosaurs

forget to chew.


©Katherine Gallagher

Covers from some of the anthologies in which Katherine Gallagher has one or more poems –


For more details see http://www.katherine-gallagher.com/




One thought on “Katherine Gallagher

  1. Pingback: Weekly updates | Australian Children's Poetry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s