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The Poetry Virgins

The Poetry Virgins were a female performance group of writers and actors: (above, left-to-right) 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.

U.A. Fanthorpe commented:

"It was the foolish virgins who wasted the oil; these are the wise, the Poetry Virgins, in whose hands the oil of knowing what it is to be a woman, now, is not only treasured, but incandescent. Extra Virgin First Cold Pressing - and very, very funny."

"Women not afraid to open their big mouths, break taboos, stand up and be wise and foolish"

Linda France