I’m super excited about being part of the Click Clack Club on 22 May, with the amazing MacGillivray. Hope to see you there!
I was chopping onions last night and the tears were flowing. Poetry has similar powers, and not just for men-folk! New post on the SPL blog about the recently published anthology: Poems that Make Grown Men Cry.
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’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.…… Continue reading Reading at 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…… Continue reading Bacchanales Vol 49
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…… Continue reading ALQUIMIA DEL FUEGO
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…… Continue reading John Glenday and Dorianne Laux SPL/Transatlantic Poetry on Air Reading
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…… Continue reading Review and Poem in The List
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…… Continue reading Locust and Marlin — Available to purchase online!
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… Continue reading Season’s Greetings!
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…… Continue reading Poetry Art
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…… Continue reading Wee Small Hours: Louise Bourgeois
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.
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…… Continue reading Poetry Notes
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… Continue reading Gerry Loose EIBF Walking With Poets Interview
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… Continue reading Kay Ryan SPL Podcast
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.
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…… Continue reading Poesiefestival Berlin 2013
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…… Continue reading Edinburgh Review
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!
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,…… Continue reading Terry Deary and Moray Council Make Me Sad
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……… Continue reading The Burning Sand at Jim Lambie’s Poetry Club
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 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…… Continue reading Continuum at Generator
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!
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.
‘It’s a rough and ready chance to enjoy work for what it is’ Published on Thursday 20 September 2012 03:48 David Pollock on the rise of village pub theatre. “It’s easy to moan about money,” says playwright James Ley, “but it’s important to have a ‘nothing comes from nothing’ attitude too.” To this end he…… Continue reading David Pollock on the Village Pub Theatre
New podcast up on the SPL website: SPL Interview by Colin Waters with Ryan Van Winkle and JL Williams.
Delighted to have received copies of New Writing Scotland and Gutter this week You can find a poem or two of mine in them, and so much great work by other writers. Enjoy!
I’m delighted to be reading at two events this week, both themed for the 4th of July. One is 10RED at the Persevere in Leith on Wednesday night, where I’m honoured to be reading Whitman, and one at the new Looking Glass Books on Friday night, where I’ll be reading my own poems about America,…… Continue reading Independent Readings
Three of my poems accepted for the next issue of Gutter Magazine, launching this year at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Word on the street is it’s going to have a gold lame cover – fabulous!
This article by the lovely Kirsty Logan is now published – I contributed some quotations, as did the wonderful writer Kirstin Innes. Enjoy! How To Perform Your Writing
Have a poem in the latest edition of the beautifully edited and produced online journal From Glasgow to Saturn. You can download Issue 26 for free. Many thanks to the editors.
Special Note: This poem will be featured on the front page of the Scottish Poetry Library website on 7th of June… Have a read that day if you wish. This year’s Scottish Poetry Library Anthology Best Scottish Poems 2011, edited by the marvellous Roddy Lumsden, is now out. I feel so privileged to have a…… Continue reading Best Scottish Poems 2011
Enjoying the sun through the trees in Muir of Ord where we’ve come for the holiday weekend. Statuesque trees knock in wind gentle as lambs’ breath on a door of sky. JLW 2012
Interview about my enLIGHTen experience up on their blog: enLIGHTen, in case you’d like a read. There’s a rather fine picture of a bagel included.