I enjoyed this sold out Edinburgh International Book Festival Nothing but The Poem session so much — especially hearing the participants take turns reading out all 90 haiku that make up the grand sequence “90 Instant Messages to Tom Moore” in Paul Muldoon’s collection Horse Latitudes. I’m not sure we got to the bottom of it all, but we did have a great conversation about whether there are other ways to explore poetry than in pursuit of straight-up, in your face ‘meaning’, such as how it makes you feel, what images the poems paint in your mind, and what sparks and connections the words, images and sounds trigger in your chemical brain. We talked about whether it’s possible to become more comfortable with the unknown via poetry. And about whether you can approach a poem the way you would view a piece of abstract art. And plenty more! Thanks to Paul Muldoon for his gorgeous poems that made us think and thanks to the participants for their generosity of spirit, curiosity and beautiful readings.
Books by JL Williams include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets, 2015) and House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016). A collection exploring the fine line between abundance and apocalypse, After Economy, was published by Shearsman Books in May 2017. She is interested in expanding dialogues through writing across languages, perspectives and cultures and in multimodal and cross-form work, visual art, dance, opera and theatre. Published widely in journals, her poetry has been translated into numerous languages. She has read at international literature festivals and venues in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Cyprus, Canada, Hungary, Romania, Montenegro and the US. She wrote the libretto for a new opera, Snow, was Writer-in-Residence for the British Art Show 8 in Edinburgh and plays in the poetry and music band Hail of Bright Stones.View all of jlwpoetry's posts.