Welcome to the website of the ill-literati.

I spit through split lips

Pressed the pen so hard I broke my wrist

Gripped the microphone in shaking fists

Deliver poetry for the apocalypse

Joelle Taylor is a spoken word artist, playwright, performance novelist and cultural terrorist. She has performed across the UK as well as internationally for the British Council in Zimbabwe and Botswana, taking in a diverse range of venues from Dingwalls, the 100 Club, the O2 Arena, the Royal Festival Hall and Ronnie Scott’s to the Royal Court, the ICA, Buckingham Place and Pentonville Prison. Her book Ska Tissue was released in 2011 on her own label MotherFoucault and, after a summer festival tour, is now in its second edition. Her collection The Woman Who Was Not There was released on Burning Eye in 2014 and was named as one of the best poetry books of that year by the Morning Star.

In 2001 she co-ordinated the first London youth slam championships for the Poetry Society and is currently the Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, the national youth slam championships. Joelle is also the coach of the UK team and delivers Master Classes and ongoing mentoring for young poets and spoken word artists (aged 12 – 19). She has a wide experience of working in both primary and secondary schools – and is the Poet in Residence at both Kingsmead Primary in Hackney and Newstead Wood School for Girls in Kent – as well as tutoring adult poetry courses (Arvon Foundation, Cardboard Citizens).

Her plays are Naming (1994 Oval House Theatre), Whorror Stories (1995 Oval House Theatre), Whorror Stories II (1996 Oval House Theatre), Lucid Johnston (2000 Kings Head Theatre. 2001 Oval House Theatre), Abigail’s Play Party (published BRAND 2009).

Her books include Brand (2009) Intwasa (Ama 2008), Acts of Passion (Routledge 1998), and Domestic Violence (Scarlet Press 1995) and she has written numerous articles and essays for texts on both slam poetry and physical theatre. She was also the curator of Mother Foucault Spoken Word Burlesque at the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Poetry Society, and specialises in putting famous writers in very small spaces – such as Will Self, Robert Gluck and Fay Weldon – just to see if they fit. She is currently working on her debut novel Whorror Stories and her first collection of poetry Ska Tissue was released in 2011 on MotherFoucault Press. She has appeared on numerous television (including Blue Peter and Faking It) and radio shows (including Edwina Curry Show, Women’s Hour, Radio 1 Extra). A documentary film about her life and work Life Changing Verse was made by Don Productions in 2010 and broadcast on television


‘As addictive as the most uncensored gossip’ The Stage

Grabs you by the nipples’ DIVA

‘Awesome white knuckle joyride in to repressed female psycho-sexuality’ Time Out

The bare breasted whore meets the horror genre’ The Guardian


1 Comment

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