Kathryn O’Driscoll (she/her)

Kathryn O’Driscoll is the Owner and a Founding Member of the Sword Forge Collective 2022 – 2023.


Kathryn O’Driscoll is a spoken word poet, writer and activist from Bath, England. She talks openly about disabilities, mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues and joys and gender politics in her wide range of poems.

She was the 2021 UK Slam Champion and a World Slam Finalist that same year. Aside from performing poetry across the South West, she has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, at multiple UK National competitions, on BBC Radio Bristol and was featured on the BAFTA-winning Sky Arts spoken word TV show Life and Rhymes.

She has a first class degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and her debut collection ‘Cliff Notes‘ was released by Verve Poetry Press in February 2022.


  • Founder of The Sword Forge Collective.
  • Arts Council England funded Debut Collection ‘Cliff Notes’ from Verve Poetry Press [ buy here ].
  • U.K. Slam Champion 2021. (Farrago Poetry)
  • World Slam Finalist (5th overall) 2021.
  • A featured poet on the BAFTA-winning first season of the spoken word TV show Life and Rhymes.
  • UniSlam Ambassador Award winner 2021.
  • Founder and Owner of CandleLit events (including The CandleLit Sessions)
  • Co Artistic Director of Spoken Word at PBH’s Free Fringe (at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe) 2021 – 2022.
  • Hammer & Tongue National Finalist (joint third with Elizabeth McGeown overall) in 2018 and 2021.
  • Hammer & Tongue Bristol and Cambridge representative at Nationals.
  • Longlisted for Best Spoken Word Performer in the Saboteur Awards 2022.
  • Longlisted for the Outspoken Prize for Performance 2022.
  • Longlisted for Best Collaborative Work (for The CandleLit Sessions, which she organised and hosted) in the Saboteur Awards 2022.
  • Shortlisted for ‘Most Inspiring Person of the Year‘ at the National Centre for Diversity Awards 2018.
  • Coach of the Bath Spa University UniSlam team in 2017, 2018, 2019 (co), 2020, 2021 and 2022. During which the team was semi finalists every year, and achieved 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
  • Listed on the Bristol Post’s 2021 Pink List of the 73 Most Influential LGBTQ+ people in Bristol.
  • Poetry reader for Full House Literary Magazine.
  • Founder of the Spoken Word Community Forum.
  • Founder of an online events company (no longer working). Raised £36000 for The Samaritans, UNICEF, Americares and Medecins Sans Frontieres over 23 events.
  • Founder of the first PRIDE event in Bath, England – ‘Bath Spa PRIDE’ which she ran for five years.
  • Winner of Bath Spa University’s ‘Rising Star in Spoken Word’ award 2016.
  • Winner of BANES Chairman Award ‘Young Volunteer of the Year‘ 2015.
  • Mentioned by Lucy English in an article about spoken word and mental health in the Guardian. (as “Kate Jeanes”)
  • Sub editor for Allographic’s anthology Small Word, Wide World.
  • Featured in Process Productions documentaries about UniSlam and spoken word.
  • Poems published in anthologies, magazines, and / or journals from Bad Betty Press, Flapjack Press, Ink Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter, Muddy Feet Poetry, Versification, Untitled Writing, The Open Collab, Allographic, Anti-Heroin Chic, Point Positive Publishing, Dream Well Publishing, Wine Cellar Press, Slamminutes, Big A Little A, She Grrrowls, UniSlam Anthology, The Handy Uncapped Pen, WordStafford, 404 Ink, Golden Walkman Magazine, Anthem Anthology.



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poetryOD/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PoetryOD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yellowleatherjacketpoet/
Website: https://www.kathrynodriscoll.com


Buy Cliff Notes here for the UK or Ireland or here for international delivery.

Kathryn O’Driscoll uses words to build bridges across the chasms we all dread to fall into. This collection is passage across a heart that beats so loudly we can feel the tremors in our own lives. Here is a poet that invites you to make the crossing and discover new territory in your own world.

Shane Koyczan


Cliff Notes demonstrates the alchemy of poetry: summoning colour from blankness, shapes from the void, and making life from the very things that threaten it.

Caroline Bird


An incredible, moving, and powerful writer, Kathryn’s poetry is written and performed with honesty and sincerity – one of the voices of a generation.


O’Driscoll is the body politic of contemporary spoken word. The very soul of the community is stored in that yellow jacket.


Brutal and harrowing, O’Driscoll knows grief better than anyone. A warning: take a friend with you when reading, before the words take you.


Refreshingly and brutally honest, can bring you tears and give you life in just one sentence. This is poetry we all need to hear.