Jo Mazelis is a prize-winning writer of short stories, non-fiction and poetry. Her collection of stories Diving Girls (Parthian, 2002) was shortlisted for Commonwealth best first book and Welsh book of the year. Her second book Circle Games (Parthian, 2005) was longlisted for Welsh book of the year. Her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in various anthologies and magazines. A selection of stories from both books was translated into Danish as Forbuden Frugt (Arvids, 2007). Her poetry has appeared in New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales and the anthologies In the Criminal’s Cabinet (nth position, 2004) and Fragments from the Dark (Hafan Books, 2008). She is currently working in Welsh schools on the Developing Dylan project.
Jo Mazelis went to art college originally, where she studied visual communication. During the 1980s she worked as a graphic designer, photographer and illustrator for the magazines City Limits, Women’s Review, Spare Rib, Undercurrents, Everywoman and New Dance. It was through this magazine work that she came to meet and photograph some of the leading writers of the late 20th century, including Margaret Atwood, Patricia Highsmith, P.D. James and Kathy Acker. Meeting writers like these persuaded her to begin writing in earnest.
She has continued to take photographs, occasionally exhibiting them. Her current goal is to use digital recording to create multimedia performances which involve spoken word, sound, music, still and moving images to explore the themes of identity, memory, autobiography, fiction and psychology.