As Against the Grain Press is over one year old it is popping up on various indie press lists – Happenstance creates a well-compiled list and Mslexia has just been in touch to add up to theirs. So what have we been doing during this time?
Our first publication was Anna Kisby’s, All the Naked Daughters, that came out in November 2017. Anna is a Devon-based poet and archivist. After growing up in London, she studied Literature and Film at the universities of East Anglia, Sussex and Paris-Sorbonne, taught English in Prague and sold cowboy boots in Massachusetts, then training as an archivist and working with women’s history collections.
Read Emma Lee’s review HERE
Following on Kisby’s heels, we were delighted to publish S. A. Leavesley’s, How to Grow Matches in spring 2018.
S.A. Leavesley is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer. Author of seven poetry titles, two novellas and a touring poetry-play, she has had poetry featured in the Guardian, Financial Times, Bloodaxe anthologies and The Forward Book of Poetry 2016. Overton Poetry Prize winner 2015, her Against the Grain Press poetry pamphlet How to Grow Matches (2018) and her Nine Arches Press collection plenty-fish (2015) were both shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Award. Sarah runs V. Press, a poetry and flash fiction imprint. The High Window Resident Artist 2019, she’s also curator and photographer for LitWorld2, online photo-poem and photo-flash journal.
How to Grow Matches
Take the long matchsticks:
those like pink-tipped bulrushes,
those Gretel’s step-mum
might strike to light her oven.
Snap one – like a sharp blow
sideways behind a man’s knees.
Then another and another
for each jibe or slight.
Note how easily the wood splits
after years of hidden anger.
A felled forest at your feet,
and still the pile grows!
Lay the toppled pieces
against each other’s thinness,
rested on crumpled paper.
Now you have a bonfire.
Don’t think of Moses,
not Guy Fawkes or Jeanne d’Arc,
but of waking every day
to stroke your curves
into those clothes,
hip-sways and lip expressions
condoned for your office
as a woman.
Leavesley had a cracking launch and a whoppingly high level of reviews. Take a look over at her website HERE.
Summer brought us Flood-Junk from Sean Magnus Martin and another great launch at The Poetry Café. Sean Magnus Martin is a poet from the Lake District. He won the 2015 Battered Moons poetry competition and was shortlisted in the 2015 Outspoken poetry prize. He was also published in Bath Spa University’s 2017 MA anthology Plume. He has been published with Ink, Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter Press and AmberFlora, and has poetry forthcoming with Irisi.
Check out this review of Flood Junk by Caitlin Miller. Here’s a snippet –
“A gripping and thought-provoking debut pamphlet, Flood Junk by Bath Spa Allumni Sean Magnus Martin… touches on both human and eco themes. It is layered and imaginatively crafted; a must read for enthusiasts of contemporary poetry who are interested in having a new and exciting reader-ly experience.”
In autumn we were treated to a performance of Metastatic by Jane Lovell accompanied at the launch by Timothy Ades. Lovell has been widely published in journals and anthologies. She won the Flambard Prize in 2015 and has been shortlisted for several awards including the Basil Bunting Prize, the Robert Graves Prize and Periplum Book Award. Her pamphlets have been published by Against the Grain Press, Night River Wood and Coast to Coast to Coast. Jane also writes for Elementum Journal.
“Jane Lovell’s writing charts mysterious, unsettling trajectories: the invisible paths of bees, the journey of dead light, the routes found in folded and untied landscapes. These poems unmoor us, find beauty and strangeness in the everyday.” Helen Mort.
We’re really looking forward to our spring launches on March 16th from Michelle Diaz and Graham Clifford. We hope to see you there!
Well that’s us in a nutshell. But of course later in the year we launch Claire Walker’s pamphlet as well as an exciting ekphrastic collection…