StAnza Workshop: Between Worlds

I very much enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with curators at MUSA, the Museum of the University of St Andrews, to lead a writing workshop for this year’s StAnza Poetry Festival on writing between worlds, in response to ritual masks and portraits in the collection. A brilliant group of writers gathered and we explored art, […]

Music, Poetry and Creative Learning

The Festival of Creative Learning is just about to kick off and we are bouncing with excitement as we have over 130 extraordinary events taking place across the University. I will be going to a witchcraft spell zine creating workshop, AI film screenings, an introduction to contemporary circus, an event exploring the refugee crisis through […]

EIBF Live Poetry Lab

I had such fun at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today, writing in a tent on George Square for three hours as part of the Live Poetry Lab. A number of nice folks dropped in to share their festival memories with me, and we had intriguing conversations about the history and politics of the festivals […]

August in Edinburgh

It’s August in Edinburgh! There’s so much that is marvellous on offer, how can one choose? I’m already mourning my missing of the PJ Harvey gig, which I hear was life changing. Still to come: a few readings which it would be brilliant to see you at… I have the pleasure of reading at the […]

Drown Not Wee Blossom

Happy Thursday! Here in Edinburgh we’re swimming through the streets thanks to this day of rain, but I’m appreciating it because someone was just telling me that in Ibiza there are no rivers anymore because there is no rainfall… is that true? Anyway, it makes me feel lucky to be in a place where there […]

AFTER ECONOMY Launch

AFTER ECONOMY a new collection exploring the fine line between abundance and apocalypse Out now! Get your copy here, and book here for the After Economy Edinburgh launch at Talbot Rice Gallery. More details below. It would be lovely to see you there. After Economy | JL Williams Book Launch Talbot Rice Gallery 3 May 2017 […]

A Libretto Comes to Life

I’ve always been interested in collaborative art forms. Some of my very early and most joyful memories are of being taken by my wonderful mother, grandmother and uncle to see plays, musicals and ballet. The magic of words, music and movement coming together to stupendous effect at these performances has continued to inspire me throughout […]

Festival of Creative Learning

This post went out last week on our blog at the Festival of Creative Learning and I thought I would share it here as well. Hope you enjoy and to see you at a Festival event if you can make it along. It’s just over two months since I started as Projects and Engagement Coordinator […]

Between poles and tides at Talbot Rice Gallery

For some time now, I have had the pleasure of being one of the TRG3 residents at Talbot Rice Gallery with my dear friend, the artist Catherine Street.  We have had an amazing time responding to recent exhibitions, including Alice Neel: The Subject and Me and the British Art Show 8. I was delighted to have […]

Flint & Pitch plus 12-Hour Action Group

Hello there! So much has been happening, and is happening… here are details and invitations for you: I finished up at the Scottish Poetry Library in November and will be starting at my new job as Projects and Engagement Coordinator for the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh next week – exciting! […]

Otata, The Temples and The Three Cities

I have been lucky to have been travelling quite a bit lately – I am actually writing this from the Dostoevsky Library in Moscow where, thanks to the British Council and the Edwin Morgan Trust, I am facilitating a translation workshop between three Scottish poets and three Russian poets.  This trip follows close on the […]

Events: Summertime & the Living is…

A little summary of the handful of events I have coming up… would be wonderful to see you at one, some or all if you can make it along. OPUL is performing at Click Clack tomorrow night (Friday 29) at Henry’s Cellar Bar, 7-10pm  Catherine Street and I will be performing a new piece called […]

A Word in Your Shell-Like

I have not been an actual performer in the Edinburgh Fringe for some time, but I get a chance this year as part of this lovely wee poetry event, which also features my SPL colleague and wonderful poet Georgi Gill.  There is an open mic element to it so please come and join us to […]

CLICK CLACK: A little poetry and music…

Kick off the festival season with a little music, more music, and poetry and music. OPUL (the marvellous James Iremonger and me) will be playing some new pieces, showcased thus far only in distant and beautiful Montreal at the Le 17e Festival de la poésie de Montréal. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Snibbo yet but I […]

If a Leaf Falls Press at Good Press

Very excited to be reading at this on 6 August: If a Leaf Falls Press at Good Press Saturday 6th August 2016 3-6pm With readings by… Maria Fusco reading Notes on Comic Face nick-e melville reading slippage/pigsclap twice Sam Riviere reading Cont. and Preferences Mike Saunders reading george clooney will always be handsome: towards a phenomonology of […]

ALL SYSTEMS… go

Opening Bracket / Closing Bracket: An Object Lesson in Levitation by JL Williams, performed on 17 February 2016 at Cooper Gallery It was very special to have the opportunity to write and perform the new text Opening Bracket / Closing Bracket: An Object Lesson in Levitation at Cooper Gallery last week, and especially wonderful to […]

TRG3 and BAS8

It’s been, according to our calculations, about four years since the extraordinary artist Catherine Street and I began working together.  We’ve been exploring art, writing and performance and are delighted to have submitted one of the three proposals selected for this year’s TRG3 residencies at Talbot Rice Gallery.  We have also been invited to be writers-in-residence for the […]

Two Minute Manifesto

There’s a delicious collection of minds and hearts – David Greig (new Artistic Director of the Lyceum Theatre!), Zinnie Harris, Tiffany Jenkins, Dominic Hinde and Chrissy Barnacle – all on stage at the Traverse tomorrow night for the newest instalment of Two Minute Manifesto – and me doing a poem or two.  Do join us! […]

Poetry Flashmob in Göttingen and other delights…

It’s been a busy few months!  Check out the links for some text, reviews and recordings.    Recording of Our Real Red Selves book launch at Golden Hare Bookshop here.  The Process of Being piece that Catherine Street and I performed at the Cooper Gallery in Dundee, here.  Review of the Hidden Door 2015 Unforeseen […]

TALKFEST: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

Join us if you can, tickets are available here.  It’s such a treat to be part of this! PRESENTED BY PLAYWRIGHTS’ STUDIO, SCOTLAND AS PART OF TALKFEST AT THE TRON CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Closing Time by Kevin P. Gilday; Pirlie Wee Horses by JL Williams Directed by Peter Arnott 22nd April 2015 7.45pm Free but ticketed […]

Until Only the Mountain Remains: Christopher Orr

I was very happy to be included in this collection of poetry and stories written in response to the beautiful work of Christopher Orr in The Beguiled Eye (15 November 2014 – 14 February 2015), an exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh.  Do catch it if you can, it’s really worth seeing in person.  You […]

SYMPOETRY on film

I feel so happy when I watch this film by Wee Dog Media documenting our SYMPOETRY: SPL Poetry Symposium last November.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Poems and Paintings on Lindisfarne

It has been wonderful working with the very talented artist Rose Strang on these collaborations.  Her paintings are so full of light and mystery, it’s a delight to respond to them poetically.  I recorded the poems and she then made these lovely films.  You can see more of Rose’s work, and find out how to […]

A Poet in the Garden

At the Scottish Poetry Library we’ve been experimenting with the possibility of making short film interviews with poets. Hopefully this is the first of many. Interview and film by Julie Johnstone, in the beautiful Dunbar Close Garden across the street from the SPL. A Scottish Poetry Library Light Rhymes Production 2014.

Jerwood Opera Writing Programme

Another piece of marvellous news just came along. I have been accepted onto the 2014/2015 Jerwood Opera Writing Programme. For a long time now I have been working with amazing composers and musicians such as James Iremonger to explore how poetry and music can combine to produce new creations, and this feels like the next […]

The Wisdom of Stone

Just came across this recording done for the Edinburgh City of Literature ‘enlighten’ project a couple years ago… funny to realise that I was writing about the life of stones even then (inspired in this case by James Hutton) and then went on to write more on this subject in Locust and Marlin, thanks to […]

Sound and Light

Exciting event coming up in Glasgow next week — Sound and Light : More fusion and fission with music and spoken word. JL Williams & James Iremonger; Mairi Lafferty & Lila Matsumoto; Tim Cooper & Sam Tongue; Alexander Hutchison & Special Guests.Wednesday, 3 September, 8pm, Glasgow City Halls.  More info here.Tickets available here.We’ll be performing a […]

Catherine Street & JL Williams present Declaration at 12-Hour Jamming Symposium

It was fabulous to be part of the 12-Hour Jamming Symposium recently, so many fabulous artists and thinkers involved.  Here is our performance, but please do have a look at the website for more information and to see more videos from the day: STUDIO JAMMING

Edinburgh College of Art Masters Festival 2014

I will be reading, with the fabulous artist Catherine Street and other great folks, at the Here, Right Now event this weekend as part of the Edinburgh College of Art Masters Festival 2014, all details below.  Hope to see you there!Edinburgh College of Art Masters Festival 2014Degree Show and EventsFind out more about the Masters Festival: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/degreeshowMasters Festival […]

Tricolour and Auld Enemies

Some other wonderful nights coming up that I’ll be reading at with fabulous poets in July… 7 July Tricolour: The monthly night at National Library of Scotland showcasing three different poetry and spoken word talents. Three different voices, three different styles, three different takes on life.  This month we are joined by J A Sutherland, JL […]

Bacchanales Vol 49

It hasn’t quite arrived yet but I’m looking forward to receiving my contributor’s copy of Bacchanales Vol 49. It is a science-themed issue and my poems have been translated into French by a very kind translator Isabelle Metral who I’ve only met via email. It’s all thanks to the lovely Jean-Baptiste Cabaud, who I had […]

ALQUIMIA DEL FUEGO

Santiago Aguaded Landero, a Spanish poet, translator and academic, got in touch recently and asked if he could translate and include a couple of my poems from Condition of Fire in his new anthology ALQUIMIA DEL FUEGO. The translation process is always fascinating to me, and in this case my friend, the extraordinary poet and […]

The Burning Sand at Jim Lambie’s Poetry Club

What an amazing time we had last night at the first ‘The Burning Sand’ night at Jim Lambie’s delicious new Poetry Club in Glasgow.  The beautiful Sarah Lowndes invited me to read there and it was a real honour to kick off the night with some poems about sand, love, burning sand, burning love and… […]

Opul at Click Clack Club – 20 February – Henry’s Cellar Bar

We’re excited!  Opul has been invited back to the deliriously melodious Click Clack Club, which is moving to our favourite old haunt Henry’s Cellar Bar.  Hope to see you there on Wednesday 20 February, 8pm-11.30pm.    

Rally & Broad!

I’m so delighted to be reading tomorrow night (Friday 18 January) at Rally & Broad along with those marvellous gentlemen Ryan Van Winkle and Alan Bissett. I’m also delighted as it will be my first time back at the Counting House since the halcyon days of SiLENCiO, beloved cabaret of my youth… feels a little like […]

Continuum at Generator

I was lucky enough recently to be one of the performers at artist Catherine Street’s Continuum show, along with Catherine herself, Martin Parker and Owen Green.  It was hosted at the super cool Generator Projects in Dundee.  It was very cold, but very thrilling. I’m very pleased that Catherine will be showing some of her amazing films […]