Welcome to my web site. Here you can learn a bit about me and read and hear some of my poetry.

I was introduced to performance poetry when I attended a new Page to Stage course at Hull Truck Theatre for the over fifty fives. For the first year we wrote, acted in and directed short plays which the theatre then staged.

The following term the facilitator introduced us to Joe Hakim. A performance poet and a really great guy. I only went because I’d paid for the course. Joe talked to us about poetry and performed a couple of his own poems. For our homework he asked us to write a poem about what Hull meant to us. This was at a time when The Clipper Race had recently set sail from Hull but when Hull nevertheless continued to take a severe hammering from the press being famously dubbed, ‘The worst city in England.’ This understandably outraged Hullensians. Yes, of course Hull has its problems but which city hasn’t?

This was my contribution:-

It’s Good Innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Sanitization, deprivation
Unemployment, no motivation
Teenage mums, no inspiration
It’s good innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Beggars on street
Coppers on beat
No fishing fleet
It’s good innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Queen Victoria on a toilet
Shops to let
Places to bet
It’s good innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Cat on mat
Manky flat
Baseball hat
It’s good innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Clipper Race
Saving grace
Smiling face
It’s good innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Boats, planes
Theatres, trains
It’s good innit?

This is Hull – wot we got?
Intelligent people – generous, kind
Independent thinkers with an open mind
Is the rest of the country completely blind?
It is good in Hull - innit?

My latest book

2021 – ‘Empty Buses'

Empty Buses book cover

In her fifth book, Empty Buses, Catherine takes us on a poetic potted history of the events of the last 18 months. A personal stroy of the pandemic to which we can all relate Catherine's poetry is peppered with her usual warmth, panache and poignancy. Full of instincitve humour and michievous observations of human nature, politics and society, Catherine's poems are often touching, occasionally unexpectedly risque and always a tonic.

Lou Duffy-Howard

Other Publications

A Woman With a Grudge

A Woman With a Grudge book cover

This work is so titled because I realise I hold grudges rather well and for a good length of time. This book includes poems such as ‘Boring Maureen’ who had every right to hold a grudge but nevertheless eventually managed to grow and develop into a fully-fledged woman. Another is ‘Sad Man’ which was written after watching a programme on television entitled ‘The Sex Robots are Coming’. Also, HS2, which considers the necessity and the expense of this project whilst The Northern Power House goes begging for good public transport.

This book is divided into nine thoughtful parts ranging from playful thoughts to sad thoughts through to Trumped Up thoughts - no prizes for guessing what they’re about!

The Brazen Maiden from Hull

The Brazen Maiden from Hull book cover

After hearing me recite some of my poems a friend named me ‘The Brazen Maiden’ I thought it made a good title for my book. This book is in five parts. These range from The Brazen to the Not So Brazen to the Seriously Opinionated Maiden. It’s fun, naughty and serious whilst at the same time showing signs of my softer side.

Add Verse to Therapy

Add Verse to Therapy book cover

This book explores, mainly in verse, the benefits of writing for our mental health. One reader rang me to express his thanks after spending four months in a secure unit. He had kept the book by his bedside throughout his illness and told me it had helped him through a very difficult time in his life. I didn’t write the book as a self-help guide but I was so pleased to learn that it had helped him. And how nice of him to take the time to ring me.

In this book I write about many of the mental health issues I came across as a counsellor. These include, bereavement and loss, grief, OCD, relationship issues, work place issues (there’s plenty of those about!) depression, addiction, parenthood, anger, abuse, revenge, and importantly, how counsellors take care of themselves.

I have received very good feedback from mental health professionals and the general public alike who tell me they have found the book accessible, touching and informative.

To purchase a book...

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Book(s) required — select all the books and their quantities:

Empty Buses at £8.00 each plus post and packing. Copies required:

A Woman With a Grudge at £8.00 each plus post and packing. Copies required:

The Brazen Maiden from Hull at £8.00 each plus post and packing. Copies required:

Add Verse to Therapy at £8.00 each plus post and packing. Copies required:

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