William Palmer

William Palmer was educated at too many schools in England and Wales. During the 1960s and 70s he lived in London and the Midlands and worked at a bewildering variety of jobs. He began writing at the age of fifteen but only became a full-time writer in the mid-80s: his first novel, The Good Republic, was published by Secker and Warburg in 1990 and since then he has had eight books published. His latest novel, The Devil is White, came out from Jonathan Cape in 2013. A new book of poems, The Water Steps, was published in May 2017 by Rack Press. New poems have recently appeared in the TLS, the Spectator, and The Dark Horse. His poem 'Letter to my Daughter' was a Guardian Poem of the Week in April, 2020.

Stories and poems have appeared in many journals, including London Magazine, Poetry Review, Rialto, and the Times Literary Supplement, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. He has reviewed regularly for Literary Review, the Independent, and others.

In 1997 he was awarded the Travelling Scholarship of the Society of Authors, an Arts Council Bursary followed in 2002, and the First Collection Prize for his book of poems, The Island Rescue, at the Listowel Writers' Week literary festival in 2006. In addition to his writing, he was a Writing Fellow at the University of Birmingham, 2000-2003, at the University of Warwick, 2005-2007, and at King's College, London, 2011-2012.


In Love with Hell, a study of eleven alcoholic writers and the effect of drink on their lives and work will be published early in 2021 by the Little, Brown Group. Stage and radio adaptions of his novel The India House have just been completed, as has a new novel, A Human Alphabet.