Joolz Denby

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Joolz Denby
Born (1955-04-09)April 9, 1955
Other names Julianne Mumford
Occupation Poet, author

Joolz Denby (Born Julianne Mumford 9 April 1955, previously known simply as Joolz) is a poet, novelist and artist based in Bradford, UK.[1]


Initially known simply as Joolz, Denby is a poet, novelist, artist, illustrator, and professional tattooist. She first came to prominence as a touring punk performance poet. She does not consider herself a 'performance poet'; instead, she designates herself a "spoken-word artist" as she considers that title more accurate.

Denby often performs at the same venues as musical acts and has been a regular performer at music festivals such as Roskilde, Reading and at Glastonbury Festival (where she performed in the Theatre and Cabaret Marquees for over 28 years) as well as art and literature festivals in many countries. She began to create recordings in 1983 in the form of music singles and spoken word recordings - sometimes solo, but usually in collaboration with musicians Jah Wobble, the underground cult band New Model Army, New Model Army's singer/songwriter Justin Sullivan, and singer/songwriter Mik Davis.

Denby is also a visual artist. She is a professional tattoo artist with her own studio 'Studio Bijoux' in central Bradford, UK and her photographs are exhibited regularly. She has designed all the merchandise for New Model Army, New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack and Utopian Love Revival, and created the vast majority of their sleeve art, as well as that of her own releases. Her work for New Model Army has been displayed in an Arts Council/Yorkshire Museums & Galleries international touring exhibition entitled "One Family, One Tribe: The Art & Artifacts Of New Model Army".[citation needed]. Her exhibition on the theme of elective body modification, 'The Body Carnival' ran from October 30, 2008 until November 30, 2008 at Cartwright Hall, Bradford and is held in the gallery's store as a touring exhibition.

Denby has published poetry collections and, from 2000 onwards, novels. She continues to perform regularly to large audiences at live venues and appears on television and radio. Known[who?] for the beauty, musicality and emotive quality of her speaking voice, she has also recorded a number of unabridged audio books, including two recordings of her own novels (for one of which, Stone Baby, Denby won the US Audio Industry 'Earphone Award'). Denby also managed the band 'New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack' and latterly works with 'Utopian Love Revival' with whom she also has a side-project, 'Death By Rock N' Roll' featuring live performances of her poetry set to rock music written especially for her by the band. Denby works on screenplay project "Exilée" and "Secret Angles" with film maker Nemo Sandman and accepts commissions for her poetry, including an eponymous one (later adapted into a short film) for Bradford Council as part of the city's bid for 2008 Capital of Culture. She also wrote the poem 'Northlands', commissioned by Yorkshire Forward for their Regional Economic Strategy Document, and poems for The Royal Armouries, The Captain Cook Museum Whitby and Alchemy Asian Arts amongst others. In 2006 Denby was designated a Cultural Revolutionary by the Northern arts festival 'Illuminate' for her contribution to the region's arts and the cultural life of her home city of Bradford in particular. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford in recognition of her role as a cultural ambassador for Bradford.

Denby won the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger award for her first novel, Stone Baby. The CWA also nominated the novel for a John Creasey Memorial Dagger prize for best first crime novel. Her third novel, Billie Morgan, based on some of her experiences in the biker subculture of the 1970s, made the shortlist for the 2005 Orange Prize. Denby's fifth collection of poetry 'Pray for Us Sinners' (Comma Press) was published in 2006 and her fourth novel, Borrowed Light (ISBN 1-85242-905-4) was published in February 2006 by Serpent's Tail). in 2010 she set up an indie publishing house 'Ignite Books' alongside poet Steve Pottinger which published her novels A True Account Of The Curious Mystery Of Miss Lydia Larkin & The Widow Marvell (Ignite Books 2011) and Wild Thing (Ignite Books 2012). An autobiography, The Invisible Child, is among other forthcoming works which include her new novel Midnight at The Rat N' Roses.

Denby's latest spoken-word release is 'The Black Dahlia' with music and production by Mik Davis of Utopian Love Revival (Attack Attack Records 2012).


Collections of poetry and short stories[edit]

  • Mad, Bad, & Dangerous To Know, (Virgin Books, 1986)
  • Emotional Terrorism, (Bloodaxe Books, 1990)
  • The Pride of Lions, (Bloodaxe Books, (1994)
  • Errors of the Spirit, (Flambard Press 2000)
  • Pray For Us Sinners, (Comma Press, 2005)


  • Stone Baby, (HarperCollins, 2000)
  • Corazon, (HarperCollins, 2001)
  • Billie Morgan, (Serpent's Tail, 2004)
  • Borrowed Light, (Serpent's Tail, 2006)
  • A True Account Of The Curious Mystery Of Miss Lydia Larkin & The Widow Marvell (Ignite Books 2011}
  • Wild Thing (Ignite Books 2012)

Select Discography[edit]

  • Love is Sweet Romance (EMI, EP with music by New Model Army)
  • Bad, Mad & Dangerous to Know (EMI, EP with music by New Model Army)
  • Hex (EMI, 1990; music by New Model Army)
  • Weird Sister (Intercord Records, 1991; music by Justin Sullivan)
  • Joolz 1983-1985 (Abstract Records, 1993; compilation of Abstract Records material with music by Jah Wobble, Justin Sullivan and other musicians, collecting her first audio recordings)
  • True North (Wooltown Records, 1995 or 1997, music by Justin Sullivan)
  • Red Sky Coven, Volumes 1&2 (1999, live collective recording of Red Sky Coven, with Joolz on some of the tracks)
  • Red Sky Coven, Volume 3
  • Spirit Stories (poetry set to music by Justin Sullivan) Attack Attack Records: 2008
  • The Black Dahlia (poetry set to music by Mik Davis) Attack Attack Records: 2012

Audio books[edit]

  • Stone Baby (2000)
  • Billie Morgan (2005)
  • The Accidental (written by Ali Smith; audio recording by Joolz Denby)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bond, Chris (9 April 2012). "The Big Interview: Joolz Denby". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 

External links[edit]