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Modern Goddess (The Poetry Virgins)

Modern Goddess was the first anthology from The Poetry Virgins. It brought to the page favourite poems that audiences had enjoyed by in ‘pubs, clubs, bars and drafty towers’.

ISBN 978-0-9520090-0-9


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This anthology contained many of Julia’s poems alongside those of fellow ‘virgin’ and writer Ellen Phethean and other women writers. Published by Diamond Twig in 1992 it contained a number of Poetry Virgins’ classics like Forecasting , You Can’t Keep a Good Birth Experience Down by Julia, Inventions by Ellen and Ordinary Woman by Karin Young.


Read the poem 'Forecasting' →


He was a viking in his forties.
Tyne after tyne I said, don’t dogger me,
just don’t dogger me – but he fishered,
me a single parent with no german bite.

I came to like his humber,
and eventually thames towards him.
Dover and dover
we caught the white of each other’s lundy,
throwing all faeroes into the fast net,
deep in our Irish sea,
rockallin’ and dancin’ the malin.
Those were the Hebrides years.
Until Cromarty.

How I wish Cromarty had not met my Viking.

Still only forty, we tyned and doggered,
until my fisher ran out.
And he got his german bite all right,
humbering halfway up the Thames,
waves dover him,
his white in the dark lundy,
faeroes swept from the fast net.

I have drunk the Irish Sea,
hearing him, calling through ships,

Rockall – Malin – CROMARTY!

Thanks Cromarty. I hope you sink,

About The Poetry Virgins

In the 1980’s and 90’s Julia was part of a poetry performance group called the Poetry Virgins which she describes as: ‘A troupe of raucous women who liked a wild night out, and who ‘took poetry to the places that least expected it (and probably didn’t want it either!)’. Julia and Ellen Phethean wrote most of the material for the group which was largely about ‘bodies and bras, childhood and cars, sex, sport and drinking’. The Poetry Virgins included actors Charlie Hardwick, Kay Hepplewhite and Fiona MacPherson. They produced two collections of poems mainly written by Julia and Ellen but with contributions by other women.