top of page

Catherine Graham

Economically Inactive


I’m not actively looking for work

I’m not a student


I’m not a housewife

I’m just not actively looking for work


I’m in the age range

just not available


I’m not available to look for work

one of the inactive population


one of the 9.25 million

not unemployed


 just economically inactive

(who knew there was a difference?)


I claim only to be

a cleaner and laundry worker


bed changer and nurse practitioner

unpaid on my knees full time carer

Catherine Graham lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. She is a Northern Voices Poetry Award winner. Catherine has read at numerous poetry events including the Durham Literature Festival, Northern Stage, the Liverpool International Weekend of Poetry (with Jim Bennett, The Poetry Kit) and a number of Amnesty International Poetry benefits. Her chapbook Signs was published by ID on Tyne Press. Catherine's first full collection Things I Will Put In My Mother's Pocket was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing and was one of The Poetry Kit's top five recommended books for 2011. More recently an L. S. Lowry-inspired pamphlet, Like A Fish Out Of Batter, also with IDP . Catherine's latest 'carer' poems are available to read and to listen to in the free-to-download anthology I Sing, Therefore I Am over at

bedroom tax
Sheriff Stars

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle
Disrupt and Upset

Militant Thistles

prickling the politics of "permanent austerity"

bottom of page