Hit singer to visit Woodend

Joe Dolce will be at the Woodend RSL on Saturday, December 9, 1pm-4pm (supplied).

‘Shaddap You Face’ singer-songwriter Joe Dolce is set to be the featured reader at the ninety-fifth Chamber Poet, at the Woodend RSL on Saturday, December 9, 1pm-4pm.

Poet and essayist Dolce found international recognition with the multi-million-selling hit song, and became interested in poetry in the early 70s, when he played improvised guitar while a poet recited famous classical poetry.

When asked if he had mixed feelings about that song now, Dolce said “no friggin” way.

“I’ve always loved it. It has been an absolute blessing,” he said.

“Now some other people may have mixed feelings about it, but I even like that… many people hate it. That’s why I wrote it. Especially for those people.”

Dolce’s introduction to poetry led to a lifelong appreciation, and in 2009 Dolce began to write poetry and essays professionally.

He wrote an essay on Leonard Cohen, focusing on the quality of Cohen’s poetry and lyrics, and published his first poetry collection in 2010, with his work now published in many literary journals.

“I began my relationship with creative language as a songwriter and I developed my skills as a poet primarily in the service of a better song-lyric,” he said.

In response to a question about his favourite poets, Dolce is philosophical.

“I don’t have any favourite poets. There are poets who have influenced my writing but also who acted as mentors seeing something in me before I could see it myself.

“Poets after all are kind of like family. It would be hard to answer who are your favourite children or your favourite parent in any really meaningful way without offending someone so why do it?”