The 2015 Festival Blog

The Blog Introduction

I’m so pleased to be taking up the post of Festival Blogger for this year’s Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. I have heard so much about Aldeburgh but never before been along to check it out myself, so I’m really looking forward to it. This year’s programme already has a delicious ring to it, and it will be great to catch up with folks like John Burnside and Kei Miller and to meet poets I’ve heard about but never met before, such as Mexican poet Pedro Serrano, Kurdish poet Choman Hardi and American poet Kim Addonizio.

I love that one of the festival’s themes this year is ‘poetry and freedom’, a topic close to my heart, and that it’s so international – check out my blog post for the Scottish Poetry Library about some of my recent international poetry travels here.

I’m hoping in upcoming blogs to share interviews with the participating poets so you can get a sense of their work and the ideas that they’ll be bringing with them, as well as exploring festival themes and sharing tips about poetry writing and publishing to keep your own pen flowing in the run up to the festival.


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Blogger in residence, Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams was born and raised in New Jersey. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Wellesley College. She went to Scotland when a friend offered her the chance to work on a play she was taking to the Edinburgh Festival and she stayed.

JL Williams’ first collection Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011) was inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses and a journey to the Aeolian Islands. Her second collection Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014) explores the idea of home and where we come from. Locust and Marlin was shortlisted for the 2014 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award. Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets), a triptych collection featuring Williams and two other Scottish poets and featuring themes of war and birth, launched in June 2015.

She has been published in journals including Magma, Stand, Poetry Wales, Edinburgh Review and Fulcrum. Her poetry has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, French and Greek. She plays in the band Opul and is Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library, where she runs a regular programme of poetry events and workshops, creates poetry podcasts and writes blogs about her adventures in poetry. You might like to have a look at her website here and at a recent article for University of Glasgow’s The Bottle Imp here.

She works as Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library.