Anastasia, Look in the Mirror

Anastasia, Look in the Mirror was published in 2020 by Stewed Rhubarb Press and is available to order HERE.

This pamphlet from Scottish Slam Poetry champion Carly Brown explores acts of looking out of and in to oneself. The heroine of an erotic novel stares at her own reflection and doesn’t recognise herself. Scottish painters look for inspiration in fin-de-siècle Paris, and a girl in 17th-century America goes looking for trouble and inadvertently kicks off the Salem Witch Trials.

It begins with looking in the mirror.

In these lyrical and witty poems, Carly Brown deftly mixes personal histories, introspection and political truths, bringing new, surprising and necessary images into sharp focus.

anastasia cover dirty@0.5x

Poems from this pamphlet have appeared in The Scotsman and The Glasgow Review of Books, and been shortlisted in the University of Cambridge’s Jane Martin Poetry Prize (2018). An early draft of Anastasia, Look in the Mirror was also shortlisted for Eyewear Book’s annual Christopher Smart Prize (2019). Anastasia was also commended in Scotland’s National Book Awards 2021 for the Callum MacDonald Memorial Award, an award which recognizes an exceptional poetry pamphlet with a connection to Scotland (you can watch the awards ceremony here).


Praise for Anastasia, Look in the Mirror:

‘From Fifty Shades through sex education to playing house in hotel rooms, Brown writes exquisitely and unflinchingly about desire. Tender lyricism nestles alongside dangerous sexuality in a mature and gorgeous collection that flits lightly from Salem to Paris to Iona – I loved reading this.’ – Zoë Strachan, author, Negative Space

‘Carly Brown’s Anastasia, Look in the Mirror (…) intersperses sharp and funny patriarchy take-downs with ekphrastic poems on the Scottish Colourists. It’s a brilliantly-crafted assemblage full of wit, warmth and panache, ‘a suitcase so full / it would not / shut’. – Gutter magazine

‘Brown’s sensual pamphlet engaged me right away (…) Lines ooze powerful colours as if a brush has layered paint uninhibited by any rules. There’s a physicality in the descriptions, a joy of nature.’ – Maggie Mackay, Sphinx Review

‘Having admired Carly’s work for years, it was an honour and joy to edit her pamphlet with Stewed Rhubarb. Carly is a wonderfully versatile and experimental poet, writing for both page and stage, using a variety of forms, and even playing with different languages in her work. It was a fun challenge for us to bring together an eclectic mix of poems threaded together thematically and work out how best to publish them. The pamphlet is a dynamic romp through different time periods and stories underpinned by a deeply meaningful commentary on womanhood, sexuality, performance, and relationships.’ – Dr. Katie Ailes, poet and editor of Anastasia, Look in the Mirror