The Undressed is a poetry collection inspired by a cache of antique nude photographs of women. King studied the photographs ranging from the 1840s to the 1930s and attempted to return voices to these mostly anonymous women lost to history.
Meet Olive, the silent movie star, Karolina, ‘The Folding Girl of Kotka’, and Mary, the prostitute who hopes the judge she’s due to stand before will turn out to be a client...
Haunting, distinctive and sensual, The Undressed beautifully demonstrates King's empathy and showcases her poetic flair.' New Welsh Review
‘One of the most distinctive and exciting volumes of poetry to have come out of Wales in many years... This is a writer whose inheritance is the work of Plath, Sexton and Duffy, but whose voice and project are entirely her own. While these poems form a coherent sequence whose cumulative power is breathtaking, the poems also strike out in a range of different directions, from the lyrical to the colloquial, the personal to the political...These nineteenth-century characters have much to say about the gender politics of the twenty-first, and are utterly unforgettable.’ Jonathan Edwards
Jemma L. King is a founding member of the Centre for Women, Writing and Literary Culture and has read and published her work internationally. Her debut collection The Shape of a Forest was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Wales Book of the Year and The Roland Mathias Prize. She was also selected as a Scritture Giovanni Fellow. She won The Terry Hetherington Award for her poem on Amelia Earhart. She is currently living in north Wales.