Valerie Morton reviews All the Naked Daughters by Anna Kisby

Abegail Morley

All the Naked Daughters, Anna Kisby, (Against the Grain Poetry Press 2017), £5.

This beautifully produced pamphlet with its elegant cover – the first from Against the Grain Poetry Press – contains 20 stunning poems from Anna Kisby, a poet I have long admired. Within these pages are a multitude of women’s voices and nobody is better at getting inside the feelings of a woman than this talented poet.


Making use of her work as an archivist, Kisby gathers material from centuries of womanhood – in this collection are ekphrastic poems, poems of hardship, childbirth, loss, struggle and curiosity about bodies. We find ourselves reading about suffragettes, oranges, hysteria, mothers, daughters, dogs, waitresses and shopping bags. From the opening poem The Fallen Alices the reader is drawn in, impatient to keep reading and the reward is something unique and original with every turn of the page. For example…

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The launch of our press and of Anna Kisby’s All the Naked Daughters

Anna Kisby

Against the Grain launched the press and our debut pamphlet to a packed Poetry Café last Saturday. We were treated to readings from Anna Kisby, our debut and commissioned poet for 2017, and from the other talented poets whose pamphlets we’ll be publishing next year – S.A. Leavesley (How to Grow Matches), Jane Lovell (Metastatic) and Sean Magnus Martin (Flood-Junk). Anna read a selection of poems from All the Naked Daughters and also some of her other work including her poem Fireflies Unlimited which won the 2016 BBC Proms Poetry Competition. All four poets read beautifully to an enthralled audience, with a mixture of poems that were moving, heartfelt, original, and sometimes humorous. Anna’s pamphlet is available to buy from our Shop.


S.A. Leavesley, Anna Kisby, Sean Magnus Martin, Jessica Mookherjee, Abegail Morley, Karen Dennison, Jane Lovell
Our 2018 poets – Jane Lovell, S.A. Leavesley, Sean Magnus Martin













Anna Kisby Compton & ‘All the Naked Daughters’

Rebecca Gethin

Anna Kisby Compton is the new Featured Writer with her debut poetry pamphlet All the Naked Daughters published by the new poetry press, Against the Grain, launched very recently by Abegail Morley, Karen Dennison and Jessica Mookherjee. (With people like that running it, it’s bound to be a success.)

Anna has been very successful on the poetry competition and publication scene for some years now and so I am surprised she hasn’t had a collection out before.  Against the Grain must be so pleased to be the ones to introduce her to a wider public.

The opening poem of All the Naked Daughters sets the tone for the pamphlet which I think explores the experience of being female. I love learning things while also enjoying a poem and I didn’t know that Alice in Wonderland was written at a time when people were becoming concerned about the number of…

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