Agent Laura MacDougall at Tibor Jones

Joelle Taylor is an award winning spoken word artist, poet, playwright and author. She has performed across the UK as well as internationally for the British Council (Zimbabwe, Brazil, Botswana) taking in a diverse range of venues from the 100 Club, the 02 Arena, the Royal Festival Hall and Ronnie Scott’s to the Royal Court, the Globe, the ICA, Buckingham Palace and various prisons including Pentonville and Holloway. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society Arts in 2015 as well as being named as one of Southbank Centre’s Nelson Mandela Change Makers for positively affecting cultural Britain.

Her first collection Ska Tissue was released on Mother Foucault Press in 2011 and her latest collection The Woman Who Was Not There was published by Burning Eye in 2014. Her books include The Woman Who Was Not There (2014) Ska Tissue (2011) BRAND (2009), Intwasa (Ama 2008), Acts of Passion (Routledge 1998), BRAND 2 (2011), and Domestic Violence (Scarlet Press 1995).  She has also written numerous texts about theatre and slam poetry for small publications and online texts. She has been published in Wasafari and Magma among other literary magazines, as well as a chapter on slam for Making Poetry Happen (2015 Bloomsbury). She is included in both the Laudanum and She Grrrowls anthologies, due for release in 2017. Her new collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me is due for release in Winter 2017 on Out-Spoken press.

Her multi-textual magic realist novel The Woman Who Looked Through Walls has just been completed

She has written commissions for organisations including Apples and Snakes, Magna Carter, The Poetry Society, Southbank Centre, Jaybird Live Literature, the Water Board, Magma, Creative Partnerships and many more.

She curates and hosts Mother Foucault at various venues (Poetry café, Whitechapel Art gallery, Bistroteque, Klub Loco), an evening of intellectual uprising, powerful poetry and furious dance – with guests including artists like Will Self, Sabrina Mahfouz, Salena Godden, Robert Gluck and Vanessa Kisuule.

She is perhaps more widely known as the Founder and Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, the Poetry Society’s national youth slam championships – the longest running spoken word education programme in the country. Joelle is also the coach of the national team and delivers Master Classes and ongoing mentoring for emerging poets and spoken word artists. She has a wide experience of holding residencies in both primary and secondary schools and also tutors adult poetry and spoken word courses – for organisations like Cardboard Citizens, Poetry School, Roundhouse Theatre and Arvon Foundation.

In the early part of her career she was the joint founder and Artistic Director of Spin/ Stir Women’s Physical Theatre Collective with Vanessa Lee.  Her plays are Naming (1994 Oval House Theatre), Whorror Stories (1995 Oval House Theatre), Whorror Stories II (1996 Oval House Theatre),Lucid Johnston (2000 Kings Head Theatre and Oval House Theatre) and Abigail’s Play Party (2009 Royal Festival Hall, published by BRAND). Please see the Theatre section for a full history of the company and their plans for the next few years.

She has appeared on several television (Faking It, Blue Peter, the One Show, Vanessa Feltz Show) and radio programmes (Women’s Hour, Radio 1 Extra, the Edwina Curry Show). A documentary about her life and work Life Changing Verse was made by Don Productions in 2010 and broadcast on television. She recently featured in Educating the East End for Channel 4, as well as appearing on Sky News to speak about the role of poetry in UK schools.