I am writing! Seeing the 2018 successes of poets I have met including Vahni Capildeo, Richard Scott and Sophie Collins, both published by Faber this past year, Lila Matsumoto whose Urn & Drum came out with Shearsman, Iain Morrison’s I’m a Pretty Circler and Samantha Walton’s Self Heal, Alice Tarbuck’s Grid from Sad Press, Annie…… Continue reading 2019 Part 2
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,…… Continue reading StAnza Workshop: Between Worlds
So grateful for this beautiful review of After Economy by Penny Boxall in The Compass: If Burns’s collection is like the soothing chatter of grownups, the voices in J. L. Williams’s After Economy are more akin to the half-heard voices of dreams – compelling, disorientating, moreish – leaving you, on waking, wondering what just happened. The…… Continue reading Review of After Economy by Penny Boxall
I had such a nice time reading at Colin Herd’s new/old night Snack Revenge a couple weeks back (more details here), and really enjoyed meeting and hearing the forceful, crackling work of the poet Judith Goldman. Sadly, the marvellous Terese Svoboda wasn’t able to make it, but we had a full house in the room…… Continue reading Adjacent Pineapple
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…… Continue reading EIBF Live Poetry Lab
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…… Continue reading August in Edinburgh
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…… Continue reading Drown Not Wee Blossom
I’ll be reading from After Economy this Tuesday, 9 May, in London at the Shearsman Reading Series, Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH. It starts at 7.30pm. I’m very honoured to be reading with Josephine Balmer, Alice Kavounas, and special guest, Yang Lian. More details are available here and here. Please come along if you’re in town.
My dear friend and mentor Robyn Marsack sent me the most exquisite gift the other day. She said it was a present that she had been planning to give me on the evening of my book launch, but thought I might like to be able to wear it on the night… which I very much…… Continue reading The New Life
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…… Continue reading AFTER ECONOMY Launch
I’ve been meaning to post links to all these nice blogs and articles that have come in over the past few months and haven’t had time, so I thought I would do a round up. A lovely blog by translator and poet Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese about the Polish translation workshop with poet Wojciech Bonowicz that took place at the Scottish…… Continue reading Word Up
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…… Continue reading A Libretto Comes to Life
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…… Continue reading Between poles and tides at Talbot Rice Gallery
This is a piece I was asked to write for the Poetry Reader when I was leaving the Scottish Poetry Library, and then due to various complications it wasn’t able to be published there, so I thought it would be nice to include here. Ithakas Toward the end of my interview for the job of…… Continue reading Ithakas
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!…… Continue reading Flint & Pitch plus 12-Hour Action Group
I’m honoured and delighted to have been asked to be part of the second ever Flint & Pitch Revue at the Bongo Club on 2 December… what a line up, what a treat! More details here.
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…… Continue reading Events: Summertime & the Living is…
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…… Continue reading A Word in Your Shell-Like
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…… Continue reading CLICK CLACK: A little poetry and music…
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…… Continue reading If a Leaf Falls Press at Good Press
So much has been happening lately that I have not had time to share. I will include some links in this post to recent events and excitements. I had this article about borders, passports and writers working abroad in politically-complicated countries published in The Bottle Imp, a wonderful online journal that exists to promote and support the…… Continue reading Poetry, poetry and more poetry!
Happy days! Available for pre-order now, my new pamphlet House of the Tragic Poet, published by Sam Riviere’s gorgeous If A Leaf Falls Press. These poems came about because I watched a documentary about a house in Pompeii called, wonderfully, ‘The House of the Tragic Poet’, and wrote a poem about that house. Then that…… Continue reading House of the Tragic Poet
The blog has gone up introducing the project that Catherine Street and I will be doing as writers-in-residence for the Edinburgh leg of this year’s British Art Show. You can read about our ‘live writing sessions’ here, and find the link where you’ll be able to watch the three live writing sessions from anywhere in…… Continue reading British Art Show 8
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…… Continue reading ALL SYSTEMS… go
I met Rob Packer some time ago at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and though soon after he moved all the way to Brazil (lucky man!), we have kept in touch and I’m always delighted to hear about his writing and experiences in his beautiful new homeland. I was particularly touched recently to receive a…… Continue reading Pathos of the Once Organic
And on the subject of recent publications, here is a link to an article I wrote for The Bottle Imp about The Unconveyable in poetry. Also you can find out more about StAnza’s collaboration with the Bridging the Continental Divide project for the translation of neo-Latin Scottish poetry, in which Scottish poets were commissioned to…… Continue reading The Gap and The Bridge
So delighted to have a couple of poems in the beautiful new online journal The Compass. Have a look here, and be sure to check out the rest of what they’ve been up to – it’s a wealth of poetry.
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…… Continue reading Poetry Flashmob in Göttingen and other delights…
Thanks to Stewart Ennis of Vagabond Voices for recording and editing this interview in preparation for the launch of Our Real Red Selves (available to pre-order here: Our Real Red Selves). The book will be launching on 4 June at the CCA in Glasgow (CCA launch details here) and in Edinburgh in early July (details…… Continue reading Our Real Red Selves
It’s really a pleasure to be reading at two events at Aye Write! this year. The first will be on 18 April at 6pm. It’s the pre-launch for ‘Triptych: Our Real Red Selves’ out with Vagabond Voices, with myself, Harry Giles and Marion McCready. This new series is inspired by the beautiful Penguin Modern Poets books…… Continue reading Aye Write! 2015
Nice article in the fabulous Cordite Review on the Scottish Poetry Scene by the ubiquitous Jeremy Beardmore.
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…… Continue reading Until Only the Mountain Remains: Christopher Orr
Just out: The newest edition of CORDITE POETRY REVIEW which includes the Poetry Chapbook Caledonian Antisyzygy; Seven Contemporary Scottish Poets. I’m very honoured to be one of them, and in such excellent company!
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!
I had the pleasure of attending the Med-Chi Burns Supper on Friday. I was there to deliver a ‘Reply to the Toast to the Lassies’ that I hope would make my Wellesley College compatriots proud. The Tools of the Trade anthology is mentioned; I couldn’t resist as I was speaking to a room full of…… Continue reading Burns and Feminism
What fun it was to perform at the special Jim Lambie Neu Reekie event at the Fruitmarket Gallery last year. Here is a video with evidence of the sparkle!
It is an honour to be included in Molly Bloom 6, edited by the wonderful Aidan Semmens. Read it all, including Aidan’s excellent editorial, here: Molly Bloom 6 and my contribution here.
Reading at Henderson’s Cafe this Thursday, 15th January, 10.30 -11.30 am with Annie Pia and Alexander Hutchison. See you there if you can make it… lovely delights to eat and drink, as always. Henderson’s 94 Hanover Street Edinburgh EH2 1DR
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…… Continue reading Poems and Paintings on Lindisfarne
It is a great honour (and surprise!) to have been added to the Saltire Society’s Most Outstanding Woman of Scotland nomination list, which includes Mary Queen of Scots! You can see the list and learn more about each woman by clicking on their name here.
So pleased to be reading alongside two fabulous poets next week at the CCA in Glasgow. Do join us if you’re free. Mirrorball Date Thursday 30th October 2014 – 7:00pm CCA Clubroom, 350 Sauciehall Street £5 on the door, SMM members free, All ages Paul Farley was born in Liverpool in 1965 and studied at the…… Continue reading Mirrorball at the CCA
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.
Thank you, Rodney Relax, for capturing some of my reading at nick-e melville’s 5 Minute Max event at Main Point Books in August, 2014. It was hot, packed out, and packed with extraordinary readings by fabulous poets — all of 5 minutes or less!
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…… Continue reading The Wisdom of Stone
An anthology of New Scottish Poetry — Be The First To Like This — is launching this Thursday, 25 September, at the Scottish Poetry Library. All anthologists are saddled with the difficult task of making a selection from what is usually a wealth of creativity and talent, however what has delighted me about what I’ve…… Continue reading Be The First To Like This
Hix Eros is a marvellous publication, much welcomed and recommended. I believe that a healthy creative culture must go hand in hand with a healthy constructively critical culture, and publications such as Hix Eros are making this a reality. Also, Issue #5, I’m honoured to say, has a totally gorgeous review of Locust and Marlin…… Continue reading Hix Eros (is beautiful)
A Little Light: Can Poetry Make A Difference? I’ve been so disheartened lately… every time I look at the news I read a list of apocalyptic catastrophes. It’s hard, in the midst of all these reports of wars, murders, violence, disease, hunger and sorrow to feel that it’s okay to go through one’s day as…… Continue reading A Little Light: Can Poetry Make A Difference?
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…… Continue reading Tricolour and Auld Enemies
I’m super excited to be taking part in the ?! Festival at The Pipe Factory in Glasgow this weekend. I’ll be performing at 2.30pm on Sunday, but there is plenty to experience throughout the weekend including spoken and written word, screenings and BBQ. Sweet! Find out more here and here.
An interview from a while back about our SPL and Edinburgh Printmakers collaboration project The Written Image. Jennifer Williams : The Written Image from arts-news on Vimeo.