Jackie Wills

Non-fiction writer, Poet

Jackie Wills is a poet. Her work has been described as darkly British, surreal and elegant. While many of her poems are narrative, she is also a poet of ideas, exploring relationships, female experience, memory and place. Her first collection Powder Tower (Arc, 1995) was shortlisted for the 1995 T.S. Eliot prize and on publication of Fever Tree (Arc, 2004) Mslexia magazine selected her as one of the top 10 new women poets of the decade.

In 2003, the designer Helen Storey commissioned a poem for a dress and in 2006 Wills’s poem ‘Alphabetic’ featured at the London International Animation Festival. In 2009 she was one of a team of gallery educators visiting the Avignon Festival to work with animators from CEMEA (Centres d’Entrainement aux Méthodes d’Education Active). Here she began a collaboration with visual artist Jane Fordham that was a powerful influence on her fifth collection, Woman’s Head as Jug (Arc, 2013).Wills worked on this collection during two fellowships with the RLF.

She has earned a living writing since 1978 when she became a trainee journalist on the Surrey Daily Advertiser. A prize-winning features writer, she has also been a copywriter, creative-writing tutor and researcher. She has delivered creative-writing workshops for Rambert Dance, London Symphony Orchestra, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, in education, community groups and many businesses following two residencies with Unilever. She contributes to a range of literary magazines and has been a literature assessor for Arts Council England. She lives in Brighton.

Jackie Wills

Fellowships

University of Sussex 2010-12
University of Surrey 2009/10