Geneviève L. Walsh is a Yorkshire-based writer and performer of 'incomparable, socially aware poetry' [The Punk Site], who made her stage debut in 2012. She has performed at Kendal Calling, Long Division, Strummercamp, Festival8, Manchester Literature Festival, Wakefield Lit Fest and every scary backstreet pub you can imagine.
Her debut collection The Dance of a Thousand Losers was published by Flapjack Press in 2017. She is currently the host of Spoken Weird and its sister night Spoken Queered (Halifax), co-host of Stirred (Manchester) and Chelping (Leeds), and a creative workshop facilitator for Dream Time Creative's Forgotten Women of Wakefield project.
Walsh recently brought out her first one-woman show, A Place in the Shade, a show about Alternative life in the age of Alternative Facts.
Writing and Performance
Partially inspired by Manchester’s vibrant poetry scene, partially nudged by a fellow radio presenter in Halifax, Walsh made her stage debut in March 2012, and had her first guest performance in July that year. Twelve months of finding her feet on the open mic scene in Yorkshire and Lancashire, facilitating workshops and competing in slams, as well as founding her own event, ultimately led her in the direction of a small performance troupe, who would eventually become a major arts organisation.
Walsh became the first female core member of A Firm of Poets in late 2013, appearing among the original line-up at their early onstage performances, in their first short film, and in their debut publication Holding Your Hand Through Hard Times. In 2014, when the book was released, Walsh was the only member of the group who had never previously been published or recorded. She went on to appear with the Firm at various festivals (Latitude, Beacons and Musicport among others), on their 22-date national tour and at various fine and freakish locations before their swansong in September 2017.
She continued to write, run workshops and perform on a solo basis throughout the country during her time with the Firm, gradually compiling poems for her first solo collection. Having only appeared in collaborative publications and anthologies, Walsh approached Flapjack Press in 2016 about publishing her work. The Dance of a Thousand Losers was released in March 2017, adding Walsh to Flapjack’s impressive stable of contemporary poets, some of whom directly influenced Walsh’s move to the stage five years previously.
She took The Dance of a Thousand Losers on a tour of 32 venues between March and December 2017, including three performances at the gloriously muddy Kendal Calling festival.
Throughout 2018, Walsh was one of the touring supports for The Bleeding Obvious, alongside Wakefield-based poet The Thinking Chimp. The summer saw her playing the poetry stage at Wakefield's excellent inner-city indie festival, Long Division. The autumn/winter season saw her supporting Matt Abbott on his national tour of his five star show Two Little Ducks, alongside Hull's Matt Nicholson and Bradford's Kirsty Taylor.
May 2019 saw the release of Walsh's first one-woman show, A Place in the Shade, and she plans to take the show on tour later in 2019.
Compering and Programming
Walsh co-hosts and coordinates Spoken Weird, the event she founded in 2013 to fill a poetry-shaped hole in Halifax’s nightlife, alongside her long-standing poetry cohort and collaborator John Darwin. It currently stands as Halifax’s longest-running, loudest and most eclectic poetry night. As of January 2019, Walsh has also programmed Spoken Queered, their LGBT+ sister event at Village LGBT Bar, which she co-hosts with former TSG Manchester host Drew Lawson. As of May 2019 she will be the regular host of Spoken Weird's slam, Weird of Mouth, at The Grayston Unity.
During A Firm of Poets’ four-year run, Walsh shared hosting/programming duties on their flagship event Poetry and a Pint, and was one of the four regular hosts of the Saboteur-shortlisted event Unity Words.
After co-hosting the first Invisible Disabilities slam – a concept brought about by Walsh and founder Anna Percy in late 2016 – June 2017 saw Walsh joining Manchester’s highly-acclaimed feminist/pro-people collective, Stirred Poetry. She continues to host and curate the night alongside Percy and their resident artist, Zee Younus. 2019 will see the third edition of the Invisible Disabilities Slam.
In addition to her hosting duties at Spoken Weird and Stirred, she has been an occasional host of Chelping at The Leeds Library, a night curated by Matt Abbott to celebrate the library's 250th anniversary.
In February 2019 she became the first woman to host Course You Can Malcolm, the pre-match 'afternoon club night' at FC United of Manchester.
Workshops and Tutoring
Having tutored Calderdale Young Writers before she had taken to the stage herself, Walsh's background in running workshops is extensive and now incorporates performance as well as creative writing. She has (co-) facilitated workshops for people of all ages for many organisations, including (among many others) Afflecks Creatives, Manchester Sugar and Spice festival and Wordwise.
Her most recent work with Wakefield's Dream Time Creative, who are currently running the city-wide Forgotten Women of Wakefield project, saw Walsh working with secondary school pupils to celebrate the lives and achievements of women from the city, through both writing and stage performances.
'Genevieve L. Walsh's rail-track rhythms rail against a world that offers only square holes for rounded women.' - Northern Soul
'Her unique brand of Punk Poetry is a refreshing interlude that embraces weirdness, rhythm and honesty' - Get in Her Ears
'...deft wordsmithery weighted with feeling and a ripe dose of reality - and two fingers in the face of pretence.' - Louder Than War
'...classy and smart poems. She's highly likeable and conveys her gothic bittersweet poems with a knowing wit.' - Salford Star
'...an enigmatic performance, packing as much emotional punch as spit-your-merlot-out humour into her outstanding poems...' - Northern Sky Magazine.
'Genevieve Walsh is a word weaving whirlwind. A natural performer who will tease out your inner weirdo. Not to be missed.' - Kieren King. Evidently / Word War 3mT.
'She's a truly gifted writer and no matter how much darkness our favourite goth poet drapes herself in she'll never be able to hide the dizzying mix of colours, empathy, and heart that erupts from her through her heartbreaking, honest, and hilarious work.' - Steve Nash. Saboteur Award Winner 2014.