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Dead [Women] Poets Society Blog

PRESS RELEASE: Dead [Women] Poets on Tour

Dead [Women] Poets Society announces tour of England across 2019/20

Dead [Women] Poets Society has announced today an Arts Council England-funded tour of eight venues in seven cities across England between November 2019 and October 2020.

Each Dead [Women] Poets Society event will showcase two women/non-binary poets, who will speak about and read the poetry of (‘resurrecting’) a dead woman/non-binary poet of their choice. Each event will include an open mic where six audience members can volunteer to share one of their own poems and a poem by a dead woman/non-binary poet. The events will be hosted by Helen Bowell or Jasmine Simms, poets and co-directors of the Dead [Women] Poets Society.

Following each event, each of the sixteen poets who have ‘resurrected’ a woman writer of the past will produce a creative response to their chosen poet. These will be published online on the Dead [Women] Poets Society website, and may take the form of a poem, essay, blog post, song, video, or interview, for example. Illustrations of the guest poets will be created by artist and co-director of Dead [Women] Poets Society, Lily Arnold.

Throughout the year Dead [Women] Poets Society will also publish essay versions of talks by guest poets from previous years, creating an archive of resources about, reflections on and conversations with our literary grandmothers.

The tour will visit London, Sheffield, Halifax, Oxford, Leeds, Norwich and Newcastle, as follows:

6 November 2019

Zahra Sheikh and Ruth Sutoyé at National Poetry Library, London

23 January 2020

Suzannah Evans and Warda Yassin, DINA, Sheffield

28 February 2020

Caroline Bird and Jade Cuttle in Norwich

29 May 2020

Gen Walsh and Charlotte Wetton at Square Chapel, Halifax

4 June 2020

Thea Ayres and guest poet at The Venue, Oxford

20 July 2020

Nina Mingya Powles and Bridget Minamore at The Poetry Café, London

14 August 2020

Malika Booker and Lizzi Hawkins at Chapel FM, Leeds

October 2020

Hannah Hodgson and Momtaza Mehri in Newcastle

More details and information on how to book will be available on the Dead [Women] Poets Society website ahead of each event:

The 2019/20 Dead Women [Poets] Society tour will be run by Lily Arnold, Helen Bowell and Jasmine Simms. In a joint statement, the team has said, “We are delighted to share this good news and excited to start our tour of England, visiting cities we’ve performed at before as well as places that are new to us, and working with some of the most exciting voices in British poetry today. We hope to entice new audiences with our fun and interactive events, shining a light on neglected women poets of the past. We also look forward to developing our website, sharing the thoughts of the brilliant guest poets with audiences across the world.”

Dead [Women] Poets Society is an open collective which seeks to facilitate an ongoing conversation between living and dead women and non-binary poets, through the medium of readings, writing, zine-making and performances. The collective highlights the work of often neglected women and non-binary writers of the past, tracing their influence on women and non-binary writers today. Since 2015, Dead [Women] Poets Society has resurrected Dead Women Poets across England, from Durham to Bradford, Leeds to London, and working with poets including Frances Leviston, Eiffel Gao, Rachel Long, Emily Harrison, Phoebe Stuckes, Camille Ralphs, Helen Mort, Jenny Danes, Imogen Cassels and Azfa Awad. Dead women poets have included Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Turner Smith, Sappho, Stevie Smith, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Siddal and more. Previous events have taken place at: FUSE Art, Bradford; Empty Shop, Durham; Normal Chapel, University College, Durham; The Poetry Café, London; New Roots, Sheffield; and Red Haus, Sheffield; and have been run by Katie Byford and Sarah Fletcher in previous years.

This tour is supported by Arts Council England, and Dead [Women] Poets Society’s partners the National Poetry Library, Spread the Word, The Writing Squad and The Poetry Society.

For further information, or to request a review ticket or interview, contact Dead [Women] Poets Society on


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