Cheshire Poet Laureate 2005
Joy Winkler was born in Barnsley but now lives in Macclesfield, Cheshire. She is a poet, freelance creative writing facilitator and performer.
From 2001 she worked as Writer in Residence at HMP Styal for seven years during which time she facilitated writers’ and readers’ groups for the female prisoners and involved them in many other arts-related activities.
In 2005 Joy was appointed Cheshire Poet Laureate. The appointment meant that she was commissioned to write many poems to celebrate events in the county’s year. These poems and others written during that laureate year were published in collection called ‘On the Edge’. This year she has been once again commissioned by Cheshire East to write a poem for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
In 2005/6 Joy collaborated with artist Steve Des Landes on an installation on the Shropshire Union Canal. Commissioned work done during her Laureate year has also been displayed as a vinyl in Ellesmere Port Library and etched into the courtyard, which form part of the redevelopment of Ellesmere Port Civic Square.
In 2007/8 and 2009/10 Joy collaborated with four other poets towards the innovative poetry performances ‘Bunch of Fives’ and Fourpenny Circus which toured Cheshire and other areas of England. These poetry roadshows attracted audiences not only who were used to coming to poetry events but many who had never been to a poetry event before.
In 2007 she began working on a project called Writing Lives, an initiative from Salford University working with the residents of Broughton in Salford. There are three groups involved in creative writing workshops which run on a weekly basis throughout the year. This year the groups have been working on animation of their work and are shortly to exhibit in Media City.
Joy has worked with Cartwheel Arts based in Heywood on several projects aimed at working with young mothers who want to write stories and poems for their children. This has led to two illustrated publications ‘Children of the Dream’ and ‘My Magic Pen’. She also worked with children at the Darnhill Festival, whose stories were published in another beautifully produced booklet called ‘Tales from Darnhill’.
In 2011Joy set up Macclesfield Creative Writers’ group which meets weekly in the town’s library. The group holds regular writing workshops, invites visiting authors and gives readings to the general public.
In 2011 Joy was invited by Apples and Snakes to give a Masterclass on ‘Writers Working in Prison’ and is currently a member of the Board of Writers in Prison Network Ltd, an organisation that arranges residencies and workshops in prisons throughout England.
2013 Joy’s new poetry drama ‘Town’ will be launched on Saturday 22ndJune as part of the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield. It will then go on tour in venues in the North West.
Participants in her workshops have included members of the public, prison inmates, ex-offenders and people on probation, writer’s groups, school children, young mums, people taking part in community based projects, elderly and students with emergent literacy skills.
Three collections of Joy’s poetry have been published: ‘On the Edge’ (Cheshire County Council, 2006), ‘Built to Last’ (National Poetry Foundation) and ‘Morag’s Garden’ (National Poetry Foundation). She has also been published in magazines and anthologies and has been a prize-winner in a number of poetry competitions, most recently in Wivenhoe Poetry Competition 2011 and Poetry Nottingham Competition 2010. Her work has also been broadcast on radio.