About

Joy Winkler

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.

2014 ‘Stolen Rowan Berries’

A themed collection of poetry in a beautifully produced booklet which includes commissioned paintings by Karen Rossart.

In this collection the poems reflect on flowers and links to nature. A rose, cornfield or the scent of lilac together with many more evocative images which hold the key to an abundance of recollections; poignant, funny and thought provoking.

‘Shared memories keep us connected. We all have a story or memory inspired by flowers. Somehow they thread our lives together like a daisy chain’.

2013- 2014 ‘TOWN’

An innovative verse/drama written and performed by Joy Winkler, accompanied by Andrew Rudd which toured the North West successfully in 2013/14. “Thought-provoking, wonderfully performed bittersweet poetry. Deeply pleasurable”.

The script is available as a book which includes original art work by Karen Rossart.

Commissioned by Cheshire East to write a poem for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

2007/8 and 2009/10 ‘Bunch of Fives’ and ‘Fourpenny Circus’

Two innovative poetry roadshows performed as a collaboration, which toured the Northwest and other areas in England.

Workshops and projects

Founded 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. The group has published two anthologies.

Worked with children at Mablin’s Lane School writing celebratory poetry to mark the school’s 25 year anniversary.

Gave Masterclass for Apples and Snakes on ‘Writers Working in Prison’ and is currently a member of the Board of Writers in Prison Foundation, a charitable organisation that arranges residencies and workshops in prisons throughout England and Wales.

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’. Also worked with children at the Darnhill Festival, whose stories were published in another beautifully produced booklet called ‘Tales from Darnhill’.

Worked on a project called Writing Lives, an initiative of Salford University, working with the residents of Broughton in Salford. There were three groups involved in creative writing workshops which ran on a weekly basis throughout the year. The groups’ work culminated in an exhibition in Media City.

Appointed Cheshire Poet Laureate and 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’.

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.

Writer in Residence at HMP Styal for seven years. Facilitated writers’ and readers’ groups for the female prisoners and involved them in many other arts-related activities.

Participants in 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.

Five collections published: ‘On the Edge’ (Cheshire County Council, 2006), ‘Built to Last’ (National Poetry Foundation), ‘Morag’s Garden’ (National Poetry Foundation), ‘TOWN’ (2013) supported by Art’s Council England and ‘Stolen Rowan Berries’ (2014) published by Sharp Pencils Press. Work also published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on radio.