Reasons to be gloomy: poet plans 'misery tour' of happiness hotspots

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A poet specialising in gloom is hoping to visit some of the happiest places in the country on a “misery” tour. Bill Jones, who has been described as “the most miserable poet in Stroud”, will be appearing in the spa town of Cheltenham, renowned for its festival scene, on 22 January. He said:  “I’ve already brought the mood down quite a bit in Stroud with my show, so I think it would be good to spread the misery further afield.”

He will be appearing at the Muffin Man, Cheltenham, where he will be reading poems about death, despair and loss, excerpts from a disheartening novel, and updating his audience on the aftermath of his disastrous love affair with Mavis Wright. Bill, who recently supported John Hegley, sold out both performances of his one-man show, Graveside Manner, at last year’s theatre festival in Stroud – and he will be returning to Cheltenham with the show for the poetry festival there in April.

In keeping with his downbeat demeanour, he is still looking for further dates where he might “bring down the mood a bit”, and is targeting places such as Brighton and Bristol. He added: “I’m trying to book the show into fringe festivals at the moment, but haven’t had anything confirmed yet – but I’m hoping it will take me to some lovely cheerful places.  Any suggestions would be very gratefully received.”

You can contact Bill Jones at

◄ The floor is yours at Write Out Loud Marsden tonight

Change of venue for Risk A Verse at Huddersfield tonight ►


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