Ten Writer Highlights – from the last twelve months

1. My New Book !
I think my number one highlight is a bit obvious – in June 2022, after over two years of work and solid support from Les Robinson at tall-lighthouse press, Rescue Contraptions was published into the world. It’s received very strong feedback – great reviews and testimonies, and more importantly, it has landed well with the readers. I’ve captured some of the feedback and reviews here & info on how to buy here.

2. Hitting the Dancefloor !
My new collaboration with Jonny MacAllistair and the DJ Collective “Warriors of the Dystoteque” bore it’s first fruit. “Barred” was featured on their album Anthropause and got airplay on BBC Radio Ulster & a shout-out in Hot Press Magazine – the bible of my youth !

3. Launching Rescue Contraptions !
The book launched to a packed house in Crystal Palace. Loved performing a longer set of 45 minutes to a very warm audience. Excellent buzz – and pretty moving. Also big shout out to my two favourite bookshops that have been generous supporters : Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace, and Little Acorns Bookstore in Derry City.

4. Bingo and Downhill
More attention for the Woodleigh Research Facility tracks with Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh. I have learnt to appreciate Andrew’s legacy more and more as time goes on – and realise how lucky I was to collaborate with a genuine musical legend, who also happened to be a lovely, unassuming bloke. “Downhill” and “Play Bingo With Me” continue to gain airplay and inclusion in playlists across the country and the globe – popping up on track listings from Beats In Space in New York to Matt Walsh in Margate. These tracks, and Fitzroy Avenue (see number 10) received a very generous round-up from Adam Turner’s blog “Bagging Area”.

5. The Derry London Bridge
Visiting County Down and Derry over the summer, as well as catching up with friends and family, allowed the opportunity for a indepth 20 minute interview about “Rescue Contraptions” on BBC Radio Foyle, a warm write-up in Derry News from Eamonn Baker – plus the thrill of seeing my book in the window of Little Acorn Bookstore.

6. Lifting The Lid
For several years, due to my own personal sequence of losses, and the natural tie-in with the book content, I have found myself supporting people who want to write about death. This has included workshops in the hospice movement and “the Loss Project”. In September 2022 it was a honour to deliver a workshop at the international online festival “Lifting The Lid” – where I got a chance to perform and discuss some of material about loss to a crowd from Anchorage, Alaska to Anerley, South London. Very moving and interesting event as part of a ground-breaking festival. Catch it on replay here

7. Due to Popular Demand
Due to popular demand (and a very quickly sold out first event) we had a second Crystal Palace Launch for Rescue Contraptions – and we sold-out again in Antenna Studios. This time I was supported by tremendous sets from my tall-lighthouse stable-mate Christopher Horton and brand new voice Majella Brady, and MC’d once again by Mr tall lighthouse, Les Robinson. The autobiographical chronology of the book does lend itself well to a “show” and has definitely whetted my appetite for developing a longer performance.

8. Bubblin’ Under
Very early days but I’m working on a draft of a new poetry publication that’s going to be completely different from anything I’ve ever done so far. Watch this space – I’m very excited about it, and will have more to share later in the year.

9. New Gigs in 2023
Looking forward to some new readings and performances in England and Ireland – watch this space!
Kicked off with a lovely support slot for Johanna Warren in Feb. Check out my youtube playlist for some great footage from the night. Fancy booking me for a slot or show ? Give me a shout via contact page. I’m looking forward to performing the new stuff and the old favourites at a venue near you.

10. There’s A Party in 47 Fitzroy
Can’t believe how well this has turned out. A spoken word piece from me over a thumping acid house chug from Jonny MacAllistair and the Warriors of the Dystoteque. And if that wasn’t good enough, it’s been released on Leeds label Paisley Dark with no less than 7 remixes from an incredible array of DJ producers. Now with a fantastic video put together by Daz & Ray Megaghy, with support from Plan B, 5th Element and Skank fm. Available to pre-order here before it’s launch on St Paddy’s Day.

UPDATE – Fitzroy Avenue has gone slightly viral – with plays on small but tasteful stations and podcasts from New York to Australia & New Zealand, plus a play on Huey Morgan’s Party on 6Music & the video’s been receiving a lot of love too .
Listen and purchase here.

Here’s to the next 12 months !

Section of the crowd from the first sold-out launch of Rescue Contraptions, Crystal Palace, June 2022. Thanks as always to John Barrett for both launch pics.


2 thoughts on “Ten Writer Highlights – from the last twelve months

  1. Mick JOSEPH Sullivan says:

    well done Joe you must have worked hard……..

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