Catherine Kidd is a Montreal-based writer/performer, best known for her zoology-themed performance poetry. Her solo show Sea Peach won the Montreal English Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Text, touring to Toronto Harbourfront’s World Stage, Singapore’s Esplanade on the Bay, and the Edinburgh Fringe. A graduate of Concordia’s MA program in Creative Writing, she was twice recipient of that university’s Irving Layton Award. She has taught writing at Concordia, through the Quebec Writer’s Federation, and also through the Fondation Metropolis Bleu. The first chapter of her novel Missing the Ark (conundrum press) was nominated for the Journey Prize. Her writing also appears in Matrix, This Magazine, Toronto Quarterly, Branch, and P.E.N. International. Kidd’s voice may be heard narrating air safety messages, video games, and as the voice of a prehistoric snail at the Joggins Fossil Museum. Her poem Human Fish opened the Spier Arts Poetry Festival in Cape Town, South Africa in 2007. That trip was the inspiration for her current solo show and cd/book, Hyena Subpoena.

Click here to download CV & Bibliography.

Click here for a press release about Kidd’s latest release, Hyena Subpoena.

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Our city’s newest superstar… a knockout… This Kidd is pure gold.
Montreal Gazette

Clearly one of Canada’s most talented wordsmiths.
Broken Pencil

[Kidd’s show] should win you over with its reflections on life, love, and the lessons animals teach us… slight but dominating this ‘goddess of beats’ transfixes with her adult blend of Dr. Seuss and Aesop’s Fables.
The Scotsman (Edinburgh)

Catherine Kidd’s performance style makes me think of Dr. Seuss meets Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom meets David Suzuki meets Vaudeville meets Patti Smith. Yeah, it is that good. It’s a musical theatre crash course in punk rock zoology.
T.L. Cowan (Calgary International Spoken Word Festival)

Hyena Subpoena marks Kidd’s delving into darker subject matter – including institutionalization, bullying and sexual violence – and the vulnerability of Kidd’s performance this time around is striking. She is as playful and engaging as ever, but there is a new ingredient in the mix this time. The level of risk, the edge in the work, brings a whole new dimension to her presence onstage…

“The power of this (work) is in exposing the mechanisms behind the assignment of stigma, no matter what kind – race, gender, class, sexuality and any number of other markers of human experience. The text underlines the merits of collectivity over competition, collaboration over conquering and examines the nature of power through multi-faceted, nuanced stories about the relationships between predator and prey.
– (excerpted) review by Luna Allison for LitLive.ca

2 thoughts on “About

  1. I was so moved by your magnificent piece last night Cat.

    The themes of so-called mental illness, the horrors and ineffectiveness of psychiatry, the violence of cookie cutter mentality and sexual assault, and the sense in which there is no good help anywhere were all woven together so brilliantly. And yet, throughout it all, the tremendous spirit of the animals and the artist each with their own ways and things to teach us.

    I never felt lectured to (and with those themes it cousl have so easily gone there). I felt that you took care of the audience with pieces alternating between strark and bare and musically accompanied so the 80 minutes flew by (except for the cold!) and we could stay sooo present with you despite the intensity and pain of the themes.

    Your physical theatre was also such a treat–fabulous especially with the bullying story and the tire. Wow. There was a man behind me who chuckled with delight every time you something acrobatic.

    And your singing voice also so good.

    The piece was accomplished both in form and content. I hope that you take it on the road. Psychiatry students need to see it. The so-called mentally ill need to see it. Holy crap, it was soooo good!


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