The cover of 'Modern Goddess'

Modern Goddess by The Poetry Virgins,
ISBN 978-0-9520090-0-9

"Bringing poetry to life is a talent in itself. Keeping it alive and kicking is an art. The Poetry Virgins have been practising this art all over the North East for five years, in pubs, in clubs, in bars, and even in draughty towers. It is partly what they read: fresh approaches to well tried themes, poems, old and new. It is partly the way they read it: everyone knows that they are enjoying themselves and the pleasure is infectious."

Fiona Cooper, writing in 1992

Published in 1992, this book contains 61 poems from the repertoire of the Poetry Virgins.



The Poetry Virgins were a female performance group of writers and actors: Kay Hepplewhite, Fiona MacPherson, Charlie Hardwick, Julia Darling and Ellen Phethean.


Kay Hepplewhite explains:

Julia was doing a poetry reading in a private cinema in Newcastle, (the first of many strange venues for our performances), and she'd written a piece for several voices. It was a poem about giving birth. Two of us not having been through that experience, were in a state of virginity regarding that at least. We were all certainly new to group poetry readings.

"So what shall we call ourselves?" we wondered over Marmite on toast and red wine at Julia's kitchen table.

"Well, we've never done it before, so I suppose we're poetry virgins..."

So the Poetry Virgins were born, immaculately.