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Joe Williams

Twitter: @JoeWilliamsPoet
Updated: 2 days ago

Contact via WOL



Joe Williams is an award-winning writer and performing poet from Leeds. He tells tales of lost love, people in pubs, and how not to dispose of the bodies of family members, with the occasional moment of crushing heartbreak just to keep you on your toes. His debut poetry pamphlet, ‘Killing the Piano’, was published by Half Moon Books in September 2017, followed by the verse novella 'An Otley Run' in November 2018. His poems and short stories have been included in anthologies published by Otley Word Feast Press, Indigo Dreams, Stairwell Books, Picaroon Poetry and Beautiful Dragons Collaborations, in magazines such as Prole, Strix, Dream Catcher, The Poet’s Republic and Sarasvati, and on poetry websites including Picaroon Poetry, Riggwelter, Algebra of Owls and I Am Not a Silent Poet. His work has appeared on the Guardian’s website and was awarded third place in the 2016 Sheffield Communities Live poetry competition, judged by Ian McMillan. He performs regularly at events around Yorkshire and beyond, and comperes at poetry and open mic nights. He has appeared at several major literature festivals, winning the prestigious Open Mic Competition at Ilkley Literature Festival in 2017. He was also runner-up at Ilkley in 2018, was awarded 2nd place in the Sheffield Sharrow Festival Poetry Slam in both 2016 and 2017, and was commended in the Poetry at the Parsonage Slam 2016. --- Gigs: Saturday 15 December: The Chemic Tavern, Leeds (1pm start) Guest poet at Word Club Christmas Party, with Tom Weir, Kate Garrett and Julia Deakin Thursday 10 January: Bojangles, Skipton Guest poet at Shaken in Sheeptown, with Rachel Kerr and Andy Armitage Wednesday 30 January: Eagle & Child, York With Char March, Joanna Ezekiel and Oz Hardwick Sunday 3 February: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds (6pm start) Guest poet at Half Moon Books Showcase, with Pam Scobie Monday 4 February: Shepherds Rest, Sowerby Bridge Guest reader at Puzzle Poets, with Sarah L Dixon Sunday 10 February: Miners Arms, Morley (4pm start) Guest poet at Runcible Spoon Open Mic, with Barbara Howerska Wednesday 20 February: North Bar, Harrogate Guest poet at Poems, Prose & Pints Saturday 2 March: County Hotel, Hexham (2.30pm start) 'An Otley Run' northeast launch, with Gill Lambert, Rob Walton and Rosie Cole Wednesday 20 March: HEART Centre, Headingley, Leeds Guest poet at Leeds Combined Arts Poetry Evening Tuesday 16 April: Waterside Arts Centre, Sale Guest poet at Write Out Loud Sale, with Maz Hedgehog Thursday 13 June: The Albert, Huddersfield Guest reader at Albert Poets --- Website: An Otley Run: Facebook page: Twitter: YouTube channel:


Killing the Piano (Chosen as WoL's poem of the week, 30/04/18: We tried to save you with small ads. "Free to good home, must collect" but nobody called. We tried schools and churches, community centres, but none were prepared to accommodate you. No room for the past, no use for tradition, and each back turned was another key condemned. Once we dragged you a hundred miles north, and later a hundred back, my faithful friend as I learnt how to play, from 'Three Blind Mice' to 'Für Elise' and the 'Nut Rocker'. But for years you stood, lid down, barely touched, except by the clumsy fists of children, bashing a blind fortissimo, untroubled by rhythm or melody, unaware that every good boy deserves favour. For years you stood, an obstacle, an inconvenience, silently slipping out of tune. It fell to me to strike the killing blow, consign you to the fate we’d tried to swerve. Behind the crack of splintering walnut I could hear a heart breaking. - Old Fred They know what he drinks, and that he likes it in a glass with a handle. They know he never comes in on Tuesdays. They know where he sits, and how all of his stories have changed over the years. They know his kids and grandkids, although they’ve never met, and on the day that he doesn’t show up they know who to call. - I’m in Love with Keeley Donovan I’m in love with Keeley Donovan, weathergirl extraordinaire. I love her figure-hugging dresses, cheeky smile and silky hair. I love the way she can’t stand still, rocks back and forth, sways side to side. I love the fact she’s just a very tiny little bit cross-eyed. I’m in love with Keeley Donovan. I hate it when Paul Hudson’s on. I’ve sat through half a boring hour of garden gnomes and knit-a-thons, then he shows up and my heart sinks. All I want is lovely Keeley. I switch him off, I couldn’t give a toss about the forecast really. I’m just in love with Keeley Donovan. She’s the sun that warms my heart. She’s the storm within my soul, the bolt of lightning through the dark, but Keeley – I don’t think that you and I can ever be together, if you don’t stop banging on and on about the bloody weather.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 2nd Sep 2017 11:50

Looking forward to meeting you in Sale in November. And, no, I don't think 'drunk'; doesn't quite fit the furrowed brow theme.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 31st Aug 2017 15:47

I don't know how I've missed you thus far. I'll really try to catch up. That's an impressive BIO.

Are you trying to look scary in the photo, or just sun-blinded? Or intense and intellectual? Or maybe deeply 'composing'? It's definitely a 'catchy' picture.

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Joe Williams

Wed 22nd Feb 2017 15:16

Thanks Frances, I'm glad you liked it!

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Wed 22nd Feb 2017 10:51

"I'm in love with..." made me smile, Joe.
I really liked the down-to-earth-ed-ness and focus on what really matters when attraction strikes...
Particularly how you told us using the 'circle of storytelling'.
Great structure.
I've now added you to my favourites.

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