Books Magazine

Other Women’s Kitchens by Alison Binney

By Pamelascott

Alison Binney's Mslexia prize-winning Other Women's Kitchens explores the theme of coming out from a range of perspectives, some personal, some political. From the intimacy of a kitchen to the public space of the street, the poems trace a broad narrative of movement from silence, shame and isolation towards pride, celebration and community.


the way you knew your own coat in the cloakroom the way you knewas you chewed how big the next bubble would be the way everyoneknew the new boy was weird even before he began drinking inkThe way you knew


(Seren, 1 September 2021, paperback, 31 pages, bought from



I read Other Women's Kitchens fairly recently, in October 2023. However, as I am re-reading most of my poetry collection I decided to revisit it. I still remember the MsLexia workshop where the poet talked about how this pamphlet came about, a highlight of 2023. The poems are about coming out as a lesbian later in life. I came out in my twenties but can relate to the poet's experiences. Most lesbians go through something similar. I love this pamphlet and can myself returning to it again and again. My favourite poems are The way you knew, The L word, Every time I came home, How we knew and When I saw partner and you say friend. I'd recommend this.


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