Congratulations to Tony Frazer of Shearsman Books on the lovely new website... it looks gorgeous.
We've been busy at the Scottish Poetry Library. You might like to check out recent podcast interviews with poets Brian Turner, Tanya Shirley and... JL Williams! And our Transatlantic Poetry Broadcast featuring American poet David Mason and Scottish Poetry Gerry Cambridge is available to watch HERE and here...
I was so pleased to see the SPL poetry workshop featured in a recent STV blog which you can read HERE, though I hope all this talk of whips doesn't scare anyone away -- it's all very gentle really!
I had such a splendid time last weekend in Gatehouse of Fleet. James and I travelled to Lockerbie where Richard, one half of the dynamic team that runs The Bakehouse, picked us up and whisked us off through green rolling fields and blue skies to their charming village. Poet (and much more) Chrys Salt met [...]
I'm really honoured and excited to be reading at The Bakehouse in Gatehouse of Fleet on 26 April (invite below). Please do come along if you're near. From the Bakehouse:Do join us to celebrate the publication of Jennifer’s second collection. it is a joy to welcome one of Scotland’s best young poets to The Bakehouse. [...]
Jonas, a very nice journalism student from Belgium, came to the library yesterday to interview me about my work here. The interview is now all in Dutch, but thought I would share it in case you have language skills or a handy online translator. You can read it here.
Wonderful and thoughtful review of Locust and Marlin by Russell Jones, first one! You can read it here.
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 [...]
We had such a gorgeous time in London last week for the first Locust and Marlin launch. It all went very smoothly, and we even had time for tea and cake at the London Review of Books cafe and a quick visit to the a British Museum before we hopped back on the train. It [...]
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 [...]
Post about writing Love Poetry on the SPL blog, with giant pink candy heart wishes for a Happy Valentine's Day. The Original Love Poem
Received an email from Greta at Lettretage in Berlin the other day to say both proposals (one a partnership with the extraordinary MACGILLIVRAY (pictured below) -- a Cowboy Opera!) sent in for the fabulous SOUNDOUT! Festival in May have been added to their long list, yay!
Just arrived into work at the Scottish Poetry Library to find a box of these waiting for me... !!!oIt's made my heart go all fluttery.A huge thank you to Tony Frazer at Shearsman for such quality editing and production, and to Anupa Gardner for the amazing cover image.
So enjoyed hosting Dorianne Laux and John Glenday for our first SPL/Transatlantic Poetry on Air reading last night. It was really exciting and freeing to connect to so many via the click of a button, and to hear such exquisite poetry read in that intimate and personal way. I hope we can do more in [...]
Nice post about Locust and Marlin on the lovely new blog of Anupa Gardner, the amazing artist who did the cover.
Not only do I have a poem for Valentine's Day in this month's issue of The List along with three marvellous poets -- William Letford, Katherine McMahon and Tracey S Rosenberg, but I also have received one of the best, well probably THE best, review of my life based on a reading I gave recently [...]
I'm not usually a big fan of the way internet sites monitor your interests and then suggest items to you that you might like to buy, however I was tickled today when my colleague, Colin Waters, pointed out that at the bottom of one of the pages he was looking at, my new book, Locust [...]
I'm looking forward to a few readings in the new year, and hopefully a book launch for Locust and Marlin to announce soon. For now I can invite you to two events I'll be reading at: The Accelerator at The Canon's Gait, 232 Canongate, Wednesday 8 January, 8.30 pm - 10.30 pm, £4 / £3 [...]
It's fabulous to see all the text art / visual poetry that seems to be on show in Edinburgh at the minute... some sort of delicious synchronicity. Yesterday I went with my friend, the artist Catherine Street, to see The Dark Would at Summerhall where there is an extraordinary collection of work on show including [...]
It was very special to be part of the Wee Small Hours event as part of the Fruitmarket Gallery’s exhibition, Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away. Amazing workshops, poetry readings, films and performances kept us up throughout the night and we even managed to play 'light as a feather, stiff as a board' at about [...]
Lovely review by Billy Watson of the recent Blind Poetics which I had a chance to read at and very much enjoyed... Read it here.
The filmmaker Lukasz Gasiorowski produced this beautiful video for us after filming at our Scottish Poetry Library My Life in Poetry & Perfume event at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in May. The event featured Alex Musgrave, perfume expert and writer, and James Iremonger and Atzi playing the music you hear in the film.
At the SPL we were just talking about this project and it reminded me that I'd been meaning to post a link -- it was so wonderful to be part of it. enLIGHTen The Wisdom of Stone
It's official! My second collection, Locust and Marlin, will come out with Shearsman Books in January 2014. More details to come on launches, et cetera, but for now, here's a sneak peak at the cover image by Anupa Gardner: Locust and Marlin.
New Kate Tempest podcast up for SPL, have a listen here. Kate is such a superstar, and was so kind and real, and very generous with her words and energy. I also LOVED Brand New Ancients at the Traverse, amazing music and stunning -- proper bardic -- poetry.
I've been writing down my recent thoughts about writing and publishing, some gleaned from doing and some from conversations with poets and publishers, and thought I would post them in case they're useful for anyone. Poetry Notes by JL Williams “Nothing forced works.” Kay Ryan Don’t think about who you’re writing for, but consider why [...]
Gerry Loose EIBF Walking With Poets Interview This is an interview I did for Summerhall TV with the poet Gerry Loose, one of our SPL Walking With Poets residents. He talks about the event we did at Edinburgh International Book Festival in which he discussed three of his favourite nature poems, and the history of [...]
Kay Ryan SPL Podcast It was an honour and a joy to spend time with US poet Kay Ryan when she was over for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is so beautiful, brilliant and funny, and I felt that listening to her was like sitting at the feet of a guru whose every insight [...]
Lovely interview by Annie Rutherford with Catherine Street that came out just before our recent Continuum performance. You can read it on The Poetry Round.
It is August so no surprise that there are a multitude of exciting events to populate your diaries with. Let me add a couple of options, in case you're in the mood. It's wonderful to be a part of these events curated by good friends and amazing artists. Hope to see you there if you [...]
New Scottish Poetry Podcast up, an interview with Polish poet Tadeusz Dabrowski. Listen here.
Poesiefestival Berlin: What an amazing festival! I was only there for a few days, but in that short space of time I met so many extraordinary poets from around the world... many of these poets also working as the festival directors, publishers and editors helping to keep poetry alive and well in their countries. Two [...]
Delighted to be reading tonight as part of the University of Glasgow Showcase at Aye Write! at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. It's at 6pm and it's free, so do come along if you're about. You'll also get to hear the marvellous writers: Anne Donovan, Liam Bell, and Nick E Melville.
I'm honoured to have some poems in the current issue of the very fine journal Edinburgh Review. Not only is it a beautiful publication, but it also happens to have the theme of 50 Years of New Playwriting in Scotland, and to feature many poets I had the pleasure of working with during my years [...]
Couple of readings coming up:I'll be at 10RED at the Persevere in Leith tonight, with a host of delightful poets.Also very pleased to be reading with Rosemary Hector and Ken Cockburn at Henderson's Cafe on Hanover Street on 14 March at 10.30am. Hope to see you there, or soon!
I feel very lucky to have had one of my poems translated into Dutch by the translator Susan Ridder, and published in the magazine Awater, the largest literary magazine in the Netherlands. It's an honour to have been included alongside amazing poets Jen Hadfield, Charlotte Runcie and Ellen McAteer. You can read the original article in translation and [...]
It makes me so sad to read of ignorance like this and like this. I went to school. I even got to read poetry in school, and it was wonderful. But it was in my local public library where I first remember falling in love with a book of poetry; taking it home, cherishing the words, [...]
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... [...]
Interview about creative writing courses: Cafe Babel Poetry
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
Very nice review of the Hogmanay event I was reading at on the 1st -- what fun! Sharing the stage with the marvellous poets Harry Giles, Jenny Lindsay and William Letford, as well as some excellent musicians. Fabulous way to start 2012.
Download the Black Lantern Music BLM 50: Raise the Black Lantern here, a celebration of a year of amazing music!
Lovely Annie has posted this very nice article on cafebabel.com -- Collaborative Poetry with JL Williams -- thanks Annie! Hope you enjoy.
My most recent SPL podcast, a conversation with poet/apiarist Sean Borodale. Enjoy!
Opul is super super excited to have two gigs coming along in December, hope to see you at: Anatomy #3 at Summerhall on 14 December and Qabalala! at the Leith Cricket Club on 21 December. James just got a Kaoss pad, so it should be particularly banging.
The marvellous Kate Tough has posted her responses to the "Next Big Thing" survey here. My answers and links to new writers will be going up shortly, but in the meantime check out her fascinating response. Can't wait to read the book. Thanks Kate!
My newest podcast is up on the SPL website. It's a conversation with the amazing American poet Marie Howe. Listen here.
So delighted to be working on a collaboration with artist and writer Catherine Street for the Continuum event happening on the 10th of November at Generator in Dundee, all details here. Come if you can! It features a number of amazing artists and I think it's going to be really special.