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Dead [Women] Poets Society Blog

#JoinTheVirtualSeance [Part 1]

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

I know the truth — give up all other truths! No need for people anywhere on earth to struggle.

- Marina Tsvetaeva, 'I know the truth', from Bride of Ice (Carcanet) translated by Elaine Feinstein. Read the rest of the poem here.

Happy World Poetry Day!

Today is a day to celebrate poetry as an international art form. Across the planet at this very moment people are writing poetry, reading poetry, listening to poetry, watching poetry, performing poetry. There's a chance you might be feeling detached from this reality, as current events have isolated so many of us. But we remain connected to each other through poetry. We recommend reading or listening to this life-affirming poem by Dead [Woman] Poet Mary Oliver, if you need a reminder to be kind to yourself today.

Here at Dead [Women] Poets we celebrate poets whose work has survived in spite of everything - whose truths reach out to us beyond geographical border, linguistic differences, even death. We've hosted guest poets over the years who have translated and 'resurrected' poets from Soviet Russia to late 20th century Afghanistan, as far back as Archaic Greece and Ancient China. Now it's your turn to get involved!

Due to to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to postpone our upcoming Oxford and Halifax events until later in the year. You can read more about this in our latest newsletter. HOWEVER, as an organisation we remain active and will be upping the amount of online content which we post over the coming months, including some special features from our future Guest Poets. We also have an exciting new project which we hope YOU will get involved with...

Join The [Virtual] Seance!

Over the coming months we will be constructing a very special, interactive 'virtual seance' on our site, with contributions from our supporters, wherever you are in the world! To do this we'll be advertising a number of call-outs for content, the first of which we are announcing TODAY. We'll also be launching the Virtual Seance at an event on a date soon to be announced, which will be a virtual version of our popular Open Mic Event.

Call out for audio content

We are asking our supporters to send in an audio clip of you reading your favourite poem by a dead woman or non-binary poet. You can email this to, or send it to our Facebook page via direct message using Facebook's 'Voice Clip' feature. We'd also welcome videos from speakers of BSL or other signed languages.

Please DO:

- Say clearly who the poem is by, and also credit the translator if applicable.

- Send us poems/recordings in any language - we want this seance to be international! We will be captioning everything anyway, and may contact you if we need help sourcing an English translation for the caption.

- State your name if you would like to, but you don't have to. Let us know in your message if you prefer to remain anonymous.

Please DON'T:

- Send recordings of poems which are not by dead women or non-binary poets

- Send in very long recordings (i.e. over 5 minutes) as we may not be able to use these

We're so excited to build this project with you! As ever, send us a message through our site if you have any questions or wish to contact us about anything.

Stay safe,

the D[W]PS team



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