Misdirection – Katherine Stansfield

Writing poems makes me bite
my nails and when I say bite
I mean I rip them off gnawing,
ferreting, until I draw blood
and when I say I rip them off
I mean I take the skin too, the cuticles
and meat, and when I say I take the skin
I mean I feed on myself like I’m starved
and when I say I feed on myself
I mean this isn’t a metaphor for confessionalism
and when I say confessionalism
I mean the name on the cover and her truths
and when I say her truths
I mean things she’ll tell you
and when I say things she’ll tell you
I mean there are things she won’t
and when I say things she won’t
I mean the greater part of her
and when I say greater part
I mean I worry another
collection would see me
down to my elbows
and my desk
a wet mess
of body


Katherine Stansfield is a novelist and poet who grew up in Cornwall and now lives in Cardiff. Her new book, The Magpie Tree, is out with Allison & Busby in spring 2018. It’s a historical crime novel, set in Cornwall in 1844, and is the sequel to Falling Creatures (2017). Playing House, her first book of poems, was published by Seren in 2014, and she’s currently completing her second collection, for which she was awarded a bursary by Literature Wales. Katherine is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Cardiff University, where she also teaches the Writing Crime Fiction course for the university’s School of Continuing and Professional Education. She is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University’s new MA in Creative Writing, a Writing Fellow at the University of South Wales, and a mentor for Literature Wales.

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