Joe’s first solo publication, the poetry pamphlet Killing the Piano, was published by Half Moon Books in September 2017.
“Williams masterfully navigates between subtle wit and nostalgia; both of which are warm and cosy, but with a vulnerability which never tries to hide. These poems exist in all of us. He provides the perfect ingredients for them to spring to life, without ever having to spell it out. Wonderfully crafted, and a joy to read from start to finish. Bravo!”
“Joe Williams’ poems walk a tightrope strung between the quotidian and the absurd, from watching snooker on the telly to Virgil turning up at an open mic night. Stripped of all excess, they stand exposed in the page’s spotlight, coolly staring down the white space in which so much of their impact resides. It’s a deft balancing act.”
“Joe Williams’s work is surreal in the sense that it deliberately blurs the boundary between fantasy and reality, in such a way that sane people might appear mad, and mad people might appear sane.”
(from Killing the Piano)
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.