William Palmer is a novelist, short-story writer and poet. His first novel The Good Republic (Secker and Warburg, 1990) deals with the moral dilemmas and intolerable pressures of a totalitarian state. The falsehoods and truths of public history and private memory are constant themes in his work. A further five novels have been published and a collection of short stories Four Last Things (Secker and Warburg, 1996). He was awarded a travelling scholarship by the Society of Authors in 1997. His book of poetry The Island Rescue (Melos, 2007) was given the prize for a first collection at Listowel Writers’ Festival. William Palmer’s work has been published in many journals and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. He reviews regularly for the Independent.
William Palmer has written throughout his life but until he became a full-time writer in 1988 he worked in industry. Rather than regretting this as time wasted, he thinks that life in a decidedly non-literary world has been invaluable in affecting the outlook and material he has used in his work. Since the late 1990s, his creative-writing classes have encompassed university workshops, collaborative work with graphic artists and photographers, and the mentoring of mature writers from the general public. A particular interest is in showing the value of rigorous close-editing.
As an RLF Fellow at the universities of Birmingham, Warwick, Aston and King’s College, London, he has worked one-to-one with students on their academic writing skills. He lives in south-west London with his wife, Lynda.