Joe is a popular performer who has headlined events around Yorkshire, the north of England, and beyond. His three full-length site-specific performances of An Otley Run were among the flagship events at Leeds Lit Fest 2020, and he has appeared at several other major literature festivals.

He is an experienced compere of literary and music events, and the founder and host of Words on the Wall, a regular poetry event based at the County Hotel in Hexham. In 2020 he wrote and hosted a literary quiz for the Northern Short Story Festival, and he has presented live radio programmes for East Leeds FM.

Joe won the Open Mic Competition at Ilkley Literature Festival in 2017, was runner-up the following year, and has placed in several other poetry slams and performance competitions.

“Your performance at Long Division was, as usual, brilliant. I love the balance between your delivery style and your content. If I were sent to a prison camp for 45 years, as long as I somehow had access to your poetry, it would be a breeze, because your words would keep me going.”

William Thirsk-Gaskill, Long Division Festival

“Joe dazzled with his range and wit, keeping us engrossed, entertained and provoked.”

Helen Shay, Poems Prose & Pints

“Joe did a wonderful impromptu set at the Yorkshire Penguin Posse after his success at the Ilkley Literature Festival. Sharp, funny and serious in turns, the penguins love Joe Williams. Please come back!”

Byron the Penguin, aka Peter Haney, Yorkshire Penguin Posse

“I have shared the stage with Joe several times. He’s a funny, clever, thought provoking poet and audiences love him. Yours will too!”

Harry Gallagher, The Stanza

“A compere and poet extraordinaire all rolled into one, engaging the audience and artists alike. Joe always enables the night to roll on the crest of a wave until closing time.”

Shelly Johnson, Cloth Cat

If you’d like to book Joe for your event, please send an email, or contact him on Facebook, Twitter, or via the Contact page on this site.

Here are some videos of Joe’s live and recorded performances. You can find more at his YouTube channel.

Festival Appearances
  • Leeds Lit Fest (2019-2020)
  • Ilkley Literature Festival (2015-2019)
  • Huddersfield Literature Festival (2016-2018)
  • Northern Short Story Festival (2018-2020)
  • York Literature Festival (2018)
  • Lancaster Literature Festival (2016)
  • Headingley Literature Festival (2018)
  • Wakefield Literature Festival (2016)
  • Words in the City Festival (2018)
  • Poetry at the Parsonage (2016-2018)
  • Kirkstall Festival (2018)
  • Long Division Festival (2019)
  • Meanwood Festival (2019)
  • Jane’s Walk Leeds (2017)
  • Writing on Air Festival (2016, 2019, 2021)
  • Versopolis Festival of Hope (2021)
  • A Flock of Words (2016)
  • Happygate Festival (2016) 
 Competition Prizes
  • Ilkley Literature Festival Open Mic Competition 2017: Winner
  • Ilkley Literature Festival Open Mic Competition 2018: Runner-up
  • Shrewsbury Festival of Literature Slam 2020: Runner-up
  • Sheffield Sharrow Festival Slam 2017: Runner-up
  • Sheffield Sharrow Festival Slam 2016: Runner-up
  • Northern Short Story Festival Flash Fiction Slam 2018: 3rd place
  • Poetry at the Parsonage Slam 2016: Commended
  • A Flock of Words Slam 2016: Commended