Under Her Skin: Cover and poetry reveal

We reveal the cover and THREE poems from the upcoming anthology featuring voices of women in horror with Under Her Skin…

Under Her Skin

We think this cover belongs in a frame! Out next year, Under Her Skin features the best in never-before-published dark verse and lyrical prose from the voices of Women in Horror and we’re revealing its amazing cover by horror artist Lynne Hansen above.

This book of poems and prose poetry was written by women (cis and trans) and non-binary femmes under the theme of body horror. There are many ways to interpret this area and lucky for us, the work in this book covers a wide range from suggestive to explicit, with each poem/prose another window under the skin of being/unbecoming Her.

Edited by Lindy Ryan and Toni Miller, Under Her Skin also features a foreword by award-winning author, HWA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and SFPA Grand Master Linda D. Addison.

Not only are we revealing the awesome cover for Under Her Skin, we are also sharing THREE poems from the book, and just in time for Halloween too! So, pop on your spookiest soundtrack and enjoy…

GROWING PAINS by Amy Lowenstern

Inside every young girl is an older girl,
and she is pretty & smart & thin enough
to fit between a young girl’s ribs.
She lifts her mouth to the young girl’s ear
and says that everything will be so perfect
when the older girl grows her skin
over the young girl, and is on the outside.
And the young girl is very tired,
so she looks forward to sleeping
curled up in her warm red intestines.

But when new skin comes, it’s the wrong skin.
If the older girl is growing, then her lips are growing
from every orifice. If the older girl is growing,
then her eyelashes are growing from every pore.
Hormonal insects lay their eggsacks
in her chest. These are not the older girl’s breasts.
Did the older girl have breasts? The young girl
is now older than the older girl ever was.

The young girl tries to sleep,
but there’s something rotting in her lungs.
It’s the older girl. She is, still,
a very beautiful corpse.


OUR LADY’S BIRD by Carina Bissett

A good girl wears white
gloves, pristine, unblemished
hands folded, head bowed,
lips pressed tight, pink
heat hidden, sealed, trapped

in bleached cotton that covers,
smothers knuckles bruised,
nails chewed, cuticles torn,
blood spotting, weeping,
a testament to wickedness within.

Summer promises no salvation
sent to an Anne such as I—
transformation suffered sevenfold,
Sorrows sanctified,
Joys beheaded, annulled.

So, I stalk alleys, abandoned
lots, calling on Ladies for blessings.
And when I finally shed my skin,
reemerge, red-cloaked, elytra armored,
I will be Wild, a goddess of storms,

a supplicant no longer.
I will unfold those origami wings,
fly far away from penitence,
prayer books, accusations,
promises of perdition and hellfire.

And the bounty will be mine
to bequeath, to bless
luck gracing a good girl in white
counting spots, whispering wishes,
seeking to become something more.


SHAMEFUL by Lee Murray

he comes at me, my husband, her father
and I let him, too shackled by centuries
of quiet servitude. I am complicit in my demise
such is the resolve of dutiful daughters
my own leaking shameful down my legs
in a yellow sac of aborted hope and histrionics

bloodied organs on concrete leave a stain

I grasp at air for someone. Anyone. Spool
silent supplications into the darkness
with him hissing—you be quiet, woman!
I don’t know how I conjure her, the tree-dwelling ghost-girl
with her whip-dark hair and razored nails
and the tell-tale spike suppurating at her throat
when she steals gruesome from the shadows. I know her
from the waft of sweetly cloying frangipani

bloodied organs on concrete leave a stain

she slits him like a grapefruit with a finger
scoops still seething between her bloodied lips
stomach and spleen seasoned in their salty sauce, she shreds
his tendons. Wreaks vengeance on the pale afterbirth
she comes at me, my sister, my mother
feckless, she devours me, too.

bloodied organs on concrete leave a stain

Under Her Skin will be published 5 April 2022 by Blackspot Books