Daily Archives: July 24, 2017

Against the Grain Press announce their debut poet

Abegail Morley

Whilst busy reading the submissions from poets for next year’s list, I thought I’d like to announce our commissioned poet whose collection will launch the press. Why commission someone? Well, all three editors agreed on the voice and mood of the press and in our meetings were throwing around names of poets whose work we admire and wish we had published! So we thought about inviting someone to be our first poet…

One name kept popping up – her poems are startling in their energy, beautifully crafted, tender yet muscular, and gathered in the pamphlet we are currently editing are absolutely stunning. We don’t only want to publish the poems, we wish we had written them!

AnnaKisbypicSo, our first poet is Anna Kisby – a Devon-based poet and we are so pleased to have her on board. A leap of faith in the press for which we are most grateful. So, a bit about her…


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Oedipus and Tiresias by Jonathan Taylor

I am not a silent poet

After Sophocles


Beloved Oedipus,

there will always be a Tiresias

sitting tight-lipped in the corner

of chamber, pub or courtroom,

not saying what he is thinking,

his eyeballs an opaque mirror

on plague, famine, massacre,

a city of wailing and ashes.

Beloved Oedipus,

you can interrogate him,

beat him, even arrest him

for silence under oath,

deviancy, transgenderism

or for your father’s murder

(as you have many others)

but still you see what he sees

within and cannot unsee it

despite dossiers, ministers,

secret police and newspapers.

Beloved Oedipus,

you can kill him as your father

or fuck him as your mother

or both. It hardly matters

for there’ll always be others

somewhere in the crowd

blindly knowing what you

have done in the past

and will continue to do.

Or maybe one day,

beloved Oedipus,

you’ll even take his place,

donning sackcloth and ashes,

haunting foreign cities,


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Freighted by Graham Turner

I am not a silent poet

Lowly in the high street’s Jim.
Jim says so much depends upon
the hang of the bags
the depth of the stoop
the slip of the lip
the knot of the loop.

They take him in.
They let him out.
They wash his hair.
They whet his drought.

Jim pulls his bike like a pit pony.
Jim’s bike sheds rubbish already rubbished.
The rubbish stays shed.
The bike is rubbish
but sometimes a pony.
Jim has been shed.
Jim is a pit.
Jim was a pony. And trap.
Legs shanks’s pony.
His head was the trap.

Are the handlebars aligned?
Are the fashion stars refined?
Are these tangles in his mind?
Are you wankers humankind?

Weighed down until it stops
by what you haven’t said,
Organic Jim sets off
to find his daily bed.

They fret
they spurn
they vet
they worm
they spliff
they piss
they kick
they kiss

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