CARYS ELERI & The Medieval Feminist

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Writer and comedian Carys Eleri reignites a centuries old creative beef, exploring the hilarious, erotic and whip-smart poetry of Gwerful Mechain.

If you went to school in Wales or like a bit of medieval poetry, you’ve probably heard of Dafydd ap Gwilym, who was regarded as one of the greatest Welsh bards of the Middle Ages but is probably best known for writing an Ode to the Penis. However, few know the name Gwerful Mechain, who just one century later penned a Poem to the Vagina. Carys Eleri wants to find out why.

Gwerful is the only female Welsh medieval poet whose work has survived - but until very recently her writing was suppressed by male scholars who disapproved of her enthusiastic tendency towards the indecent. Rude, risqué and fiercely feminist, Gwerful's poetry cuts through even in the 21st century.

 

Carys first stumbled upon Gwerful when her friend, historian Sara Huws, posted an ASMR video of her reading Poem to the Vagina on Instagram. Carys brings Gwerful aback to life with shockingly rude dramatic readings.