Dead [Women] Poets Society Blog

Geneviève L. Walsh & Charlotte Wetton resurrect Diane di Prima & Ellen Taylor




On 31 August 2021, Geneviève L. Walsh and Charlotte Wetton briefly brought the spirits of US Beat poet Diane di Prima and Irish poet and washerwoman Ellen Taylor online. We were [Not] in Halifax, feeling the ghostly presences of these dead women poets, re-animated through new poems by Gen and Charlotte. And now you can re-live that séance, read the poems in full, and find out more about both of these literary grandmothers of ours.


Charlotte Wetton is based in West Yorkshire. Her first pamphlet I Refuse to Turn into a Hat-Stand won the Michael Marks Awards 2017. Her poems have been published in Poetry Wales, Staple, Stand, and won a New Writing North award in 2019. She has performed at Aldeburgh and Ledbury festivals, came second in the StAnza Slam, and has a spoken word album, Body Politic. Her poetry reviews are published in Modern Poetry in Translation and The Manchester Review. She completed her MA in Creative Writing with Distinction at the University of Manchester. She’s currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, researching the work-site in contemporary and eighteenth-century poetry. Read her resurrection of 18th century Irish poet, including her long poem 'The River Lethe/Barrow/Calder' responding to Taylor's 'Written by the Barrow Side, Where She Was Sent to Wash Linen’.


Geneviève L. Walsh is a poet, spoken word artist, creative writing mentor and loud-mouthed queer feminist. They have released two books with Flapjack Press: The Dance of a Thousand Losers (2017) and Vitriol Works (2020). Walsh is the founder of Halifax's Spoken Weird and a compere with the Mancunian intersectional feminist collective, Stirred Poetry. They were the first non-male poet to be published by Northern touring troupe A Firm of Poets and remained a core member until the group's swansong in 2017. They are currently the resident poetry tutor with Stand Up Sisters, Bolton. Read their resurrection of anti-Bloke Beat poet Diane di Prima in full, and read their feminist poems written in response.


These creative responses were commissioned as part of Geneviève L. Walsh and Charlotte Wetton's resurrections for a séance on the Dead [Women] Poets Society national tour in 2019-21.


Watch an edited recording of the séance below.


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This project is supported by Arts Council England. Illustrations by Lily Arnold.