John Hartley Williams (1942-2014) published four collections with Bloodaxe (all now out of print) after making his debut with Chatto, and was co-translator, with Hilde Ottschofski, of Marin Sorescu’s Censored Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2001). He won first prize in the Arvon International Poetry Competition in 1983 with ‘Ephraim Destiny’s Perfectly Utter Darkness’, the centrepiece of his second collection Bright River Yonder (Bloodaxe Books, 1987). His later collections were published by Cape, two of which were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and by Salt Publishing. He also published a surrealist film noir thriller, Mystery in Spiderville (Vintage), and collaborated on several projects with Matthew Sweeney, including their handbook Teach Yourself Writing Poetry (1997) and the novel Death Comes for the Poets (Muswell Press, 2012). Born in Cheshire, he grew up in London, studied at the universities of Nottingham and London. He moved to Berlin in 1976, and taught at the Free University of Berlin for many years. He also lived and worked in France, Francophone Africa and Yugoslavia.
Books by John Hartley Williams