About Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coehlo’s poetry creates all sorts of other worlds. With wild ideas and unforgettable images, he invites us to dream about possible impossibilities. Everyday situations are turned into mini-dramas. Stories and poems of the past make guest appearances.

These poems are full of humour and inventiveness, but many have sad or sombre notes. They manage to be both uncomfortable and comforting. Listen to ‘If All the World Were Paper’ and hear how Joseph uses his voice to brings out both the light and the dark – as well as lots of shades in between.

‘The Duelling Duo’ is a very different sort of poem. Here you can hear Joseph enjoying the drama of the imaginary battle. See if you can hear all the homophones before reading the poem for yourself.

Much of Joseph’s poetry is written in free verse. But although the rhythms may not be regular, they are still strong. Sometimes he uses a single metaphor and takes the whole poem to explore the idea. All use clever word play.

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Joseph grew up in Roehampton on the outskirts of London. Living in a tower block and other childhood memories feature in many of his poems.

He says that he wasn’t able to read or write properly until he was seven years old, and the idea of being a writer did not occur to him when he was young. But at secondary school he began to write poetry, beginning with a poem titled “Unbearable” – about a bear!

He studied archaeology at university and then had lots of different jobs – gym instructor, salesman and even being an ‘extra’ on film sets! But he continued to write plays and poems, and now enjoys being a poet and performer.

Joseph’s recording was made on the 10th October 2017 at the Soundhouse, London

Featured in the Archive


Selected Bibliography

A Year of Nature Poems, Wide Eyed, 2019