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Rowena Knight

Rowena Knight was born in 1988 in Palmerston North, New Zealand, but moved to England on her thirteenth birthday. She is a graduate of Durham University, where she founded the Poetry Society. Her poetry was Commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in 2006, has been twice longlisted in the Mslexia Poetry Competition, and was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize in 2015. Her work has appeared in many magazines and journals, including Magma, Cadaverine Magazine, The Rialto and Cake.

Her first pamphlet, All the Footprints I Left Were Red, was published by Valley Press in July 2016.


All the Footprints I Left Were Red

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All the Footprints I Left Were Red is concerned with origins: how the places we’ve lived and the people we’ve loved leave their mark on us. Born to an English mother and Kiwi father, Rowena Knight grew up in New Zealand and immigrated to England on her thirteenth birthday. Her poems explore the heightened sense of alienation that being “foreign” brings to adolescence; whether coming to terms with an England that is a far cry from the Enid Blyton books you were raised on, or trying to survive school with the wrong words – and rucksack.

These poems grapple with the meaning of coming of age in a world where women and girls are often objects for male consumption, and gendered violence follows you wherever you go – even into the fantastical landscapes of your favourite childhood films. But amid the violence there is revelry: in food, in love, in giving one’s body to another – or all three simultaneously.

This is a book for anyone who has ever felt out of place, wondered why it is that women so often write poems about being in the bath, or grew up believing the Goblin King was real.

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