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Poet in the Making

A collaborative global effort to elevate the works of a long-lost poet springs forth at Weinberg College


Scribbling away in a remote estate in 17th-century England, an obscure noblewoman named Hester Pulter (1605–1678) amassed a collection of more than 100 poems.

Remarkable in their scope and sophistication, Pulter's poems explore revolutionary concepts in physics and astronomy and challenge presumptions about how women thought and wrote at the time.

Before she died, the mother of 15 tucked the poems away. And then her work remained hidden for the next 300 years.

Pulter’s work finally re-surfaced in a library in England in the mid-1990s, but it remained unknown outside literary circles until 2015, when Weinberg College English professor Wendy Wall and Leah Knight of Brock University spearheaded a global effort to bring Pulter’s work to light.

Working with an international team of researchers, Wall collaborated with the College’s Media and Design Studio to create The Pulter Project, an innovative website that showcases Pulter’s work in all its complexity.

And now literary scholars around the world — from the United States to New Zealand to Canada to the United Kingdom — are working to analyze and elevate Pulter’s legacy.

“Hester Pulter is not commonly known today, but she will be,” Wall predicts. “I’m confident that she is entering the canon, and I’m excited about being part of that process.”

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