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Under Her Skin: A Women in Horror Poetry Showcase, Vol. I

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Black Spot Books presents its inaugural Poetry Showcase, featuring the best in never-before-published dark verse and lyrical prose from the voices of Women in Horror. Edited by Lindy Ryan and Toni Miller, the inaugural collection features work from Bram-Stoker award-winning and nominated authors, as well as dozens of poems from women (cis and trans) and non-binary femmes in horror.

162 pages, Paperback

First published April 5, 2022

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About the author

Lindy Ryan

23 books177 followers
LINDY MILLER RYAN is a Bram Stoker Awards®-nominated and Silver Falchion Award-winning editor, author, short-film director, and professor. Ryan the current author-in-residence at Rue Morgue, the world’s leading horror culture and entertainment brand, and a regular contributor at Booktrib and LitReactor. Her guest articles and features include NPR, BBC Culture, Irish Times, Daily Mail, and more. She is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), the International Thriller Writers (ITW), and the Brothers Grimm Society of North America. In 2022, she was named one of horror's most masterful anthology curators, alongside Ellen Datlow and Christopher Golden, and has been declared a "champion for women's voices in horror" by Shelf Awareness (2023). Her animated short film, TRICK OR TREAT, ALISTAIR GRAY, based on her children's book of the same name, won the Grand Prix Award at the 2022 ANMTN Awards.

Ryan is currently a full-time professor at Rutgers University in the Masters of Professional Science program, She is also a guest faculty mentor in Western Connecticut State’s MFA program. Prior to her career in academia, Ryan was the co-founder of Radiant Advisors, a business intelligence research and advisory firm, where she led the company’s research and data enablement practice for clients that included 21st Century Fox Films, Warner Bros., and Disney. In 2017, Ryan founded Black Spot Books, an independent press focused on amplifying underrepresented voices in horror, where she maintains her role as President after the company was acquired in 2019 as an imprint of Vesuvian Media Group. Ryan served from 2020 to 2022 on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association and was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s 2020 Star Watch Honorees. Currently, she is the co-chair of the Horror Writers Association Publishers Council.

Ryan grew up cutting her teeth on Goosebumps and universal monsters. She has published numerous academic texts and also writes clean, seasonal romance under the name ​Lindy Miller, where her books have been adapted for screen.

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5 stars
49 (22%)
4 stars
73 (33%)
3 stars
61 (27%)
2 stars
30 (13%)
1 star
6 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 121 reviews
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,877 followers
April 26, 2022
This is a gorgeous, lush, magical book. Starting with that Lynne Hansen cover art, to the floral edges on the interior pages, and then poem after poem after poem from one beautiful woman to the next. I found that reading two or three here and there throughout the day was my favorite way to enjoy this collection. There’s a real who’s who list of favorites featured as well as some new voices and even some poetry from friends I had made on bookstagram. A real delight all the way through. Under Her Skin is a must have for your dark poetry collection. Don’t miss it
Profile Image for Coos Burton.
787 reviews1,339 followers
October 14, 2021
Este poemario de terror escrito por mujeres cis y trans me pareció hermoso. Cada poema me transmitió algo único, todos apuntaban al body horror de alguna forma u otra, y me pareció espectacular. Aún así, los tópicos son variados, igual que sus estilos.
Profile Image for Holly (The GrimDragon).
1,060 reviews233 followers
May 3, 2022
"When you turn yourself
inside out like that
I don't know how
to hold you"
~Miriam H. Harrison, When You


Full transparency, even without my obvious bias, I would have still given this ALL THE ACHINGLY BEAUTIFUL STARS!

I am incredibly honored to have a piece in this glorious anthology of fiercely talented badass poets!
Profile Image for connie.
1,366 reviews84 followers
October 1, 2023
Unfortunately fell flat for me, with many writers resorting to cliche after cliche in representing experiences with womanhood and femininity in their poetry. There were definitely some that grabbed me (that I will include extracts/names of when I write this review in full) and definitely made me want to check out more work, but when you give people the same prompt, a lot are just going to churn out the same poetry about being descendants of witches. Just a lot of repetitive motifs and themes that would've worked better if less poems had been included, or they hadn't edited it so that a lot of the same kind of poems appeared concurrently in the collection.

Also, I understand there are certainly people who identify as nonbinary femme/masc, but representing the voices of nonbinary people who explicitly identify as femme as being the same as that of women (cis and trans) presents a very cis-centred view on what being nonbinary means, and how nonbinary people understand themselves and their gender. Being nonbinary complicates a lot of interactions with femininity and masculinity, and it feels like the editors in their introductions make it clear they only included nonbinary femmes as they seem them as Women.LiteTm. I find the way people write about and include nonbinary voices based on cisnormative perceptions of gender and gender identity troubling.
Profile Image for Candace Nola.
Author 33 books165 followers
May 15, 2022
Under Her Skin is an astounding collection of poetry written by a stellar line-up of talent. The poems are haunting, dark, deeply layered, and emotional. Rage, fury, sadness, hurt, devastation, and rejection fill the pages with the highly personal scars of the authors that bled across every page within. I have never read a more intense collection of words, clawed from the depths of raw emotion, than this one.
I cannot choose a favorite as each one resonated somewhere in my soul, as my scars were made just a little lighter with each shared within. I have felt all these things, and I carry my pain deep in my heart like many of these authors. You will have many favorites here, as each one finds one of your scars and makes it ache just a little less.
Besides the poetry within, the book is beautifully designed, both inside and out. This is one for the shelves, to be read, and read again, to be shared and to be admired.
5 Stars.
Profile Image for aninha.
55 reviews1 follower
October 25, 2021
Thank you NetGalley for this!

This book was tough to read. It's filled with all the feelings a woman feels during her life - all the pressure, all the pain, all the suffering. It's such an horror to read, but never ceases from being the truth.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
32 reviews1 follower
October 17, 2021
I recieved an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

The poetry in this volume is amazing but not exactly as advertised by the description. I went into this collection expecting horror/spooky stories told through a women's lens but instead encountered the average topics of dangerous beauty standards and duplicitous gender norms. While the writing itself is easily worth a 5-star rating, the collection as a whole failed self-imposed expectations.
Profile Image for Bel Hernández.
Author 1 book65 followers
September 30, 2021
Being a super fan of the monstrous, and given the description of this book and the mention of body horror, I was hyped to read this women and non-binary femmes horror poetry collection.
Sadly, I find few and small horror poems in this book.
It enrolls pretty well with the new wave of women poetry, that talks about pain and gender roles and beauty standards and how men has wrong us. But it doesn’t bring anything new; the poems are all very similar to some I have already read two years ago when Kaur and Lovelace boomed (or bloomed). It certainly adds little to the horror genre. And it’s mostly merged with the repudiation of societal norms and beauty ideals.
Some poems where really good; or at least were what the premise promised. (We, by Morgan Sylvia; metamorphosis by Marceau; Something that needs destroyed by Crate; and What the dead girl is trying to say… by King-Miller, among others). Most of them acutely following the proposition of horror themes.
Unsatisfactory I was hoping to read a new surge of women in horror, in every aspect of it (spaces that have been denied to us for centuries), but I guess we are still limited to the horror that the patriarchy plunges into our own bodies.
Profile Image for Callum McLaughlin.
Author 4 books86 followers
February 10, 2022
In principle, this sounds like a perfect read for me: an anthology of poetry by women in horror, exploring their experiences of gender and identity. It’s possible my own high expectations contributed to my ultimate lukewarm response, but sadly I felt there was little here to push the boundaries of either horror or feminist writing.

I definitely appreciate how inclusive the project is, with cis, trans, and non-binary femmes representing various facets of womanhood. While there are some definite gems peppered throughout (I particularly admire pieces that focus on the horror women often inflict upon their own bodies as a result of societal pressures), I never felt particularly inspired to seek out more work from any of the featured writers. Beyond that, most of the pieces blur together somewhat due to repetition in tone and imagery. It feels cohesive as a collection of works in that respect, but lacking in dynamism.

I love what the book wants to achieve, and there are certainly glimmers of success on that front, but sadly the selection feels too bloated and one-note in its perspective and approach.

Thank you to the publisher for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ave Reads ♡.
236 reviews17 followers
November 9, 2021
first and foremost, I'd like to express my gratitude to Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this copy.

Disclaimer: This review is solely based on my own opinion.

I'm a huge fan of poetry books, but this poetry ebook didn't help me feel as If I was reading poetry. It's almost as though I can state that the majority of the poetry weren't intended to myself. I had high hopes, but they were unfortunately disappointed by the end.

Profile Image for Lucsbooks.
365 reviews
November 30, 2021
My favourite thing about Under Her Skin was that it could have been used as an exclusionist space but instead chose to welcome all kinds of women and femme authors and it was so much the better for that. The editors understood that if you are a woman, then you are very familiar with the feeling of horror now and historically and that is present throughout all kinds of art that women were part of creating and divulging to larger masses which this poetry collection truly honoured. That diversity was also present when it came to the geographical origins and current homes of the contributors so this book featured all kinds of female experience, from body image to motherhood or simply the danger of existing in the world as a woman.

Thank you to NetGalley and Black Spot Books for this DRC.
Profile Image for Becky Spratford.
Author 4 books541 followers
March 26, 2022
Review in the April 2022 issue of Library Journal.

Three Words That Describe This Book: lyrical, body horror, thought provoking


Award winning author Linda Addison perfectly sets the stage in the final words of her introduction, “…we were never the Final Girl. We are the Witch, the Myth, the giver of Life, feared.” beckoning readers to enter this thought provoking, poetry anthology featuring seventy different women– cis, trans, and non binary femmess– with poems that focus their terrifying gaze on Body Horror, in particular and being a woman, in general. These are powerful poems, their range in subject matter, style, level of fear and gore, all of it as wide and varied as the range of how women experience the horrific truth of their lives. While the table of content is filled with recognizable names such as Cynthia Pelayo, Stephanie Wytovich, and Lee Murry, two entries that stand out are "Harm" by Emily Ruth Verone and "Beautiful" by L. Marie Wood, visceral poems, that pack an emotional punch, and yet, they also hold a beauty, truth and lyricism that cannot be denied; a message carried with strength by the entire volume.

Verdict: Poetry is an excellent format for probing the dark emotions that define Horror, and this anthology, and its evocative cover, will entice readers to engage with dozens of fierce and chilling voices, just be prepared to add more Horror poetry and new authors to your collections as a result.

Poetry has been on a steady increase in popularity over the last 5 years and Horror poetry especially has been outstanding. It is a great format to express the emotions that make horror.

This anthology is excellent and not just because of some of the big names in Horror poetry represented within-- Cynthia Pelayo, Linda Addison, Stephanie Wytovich, Lee Murry, Sara Tantlinger,

But it is not about the specific women whose works have been included, it is about women regaining the power of their lives and their stories in their own words. Being a woman is terrifying in many ways and together these poems express the full range of that truth. The range of poems is a wide and varied as the range of how women experience their life. I appreciated that.

Ones that caught me off guard: The very short--"Harm"-- by Emily Ruth Verone and "Beautiful" by L. Marie Wood. Both are powerful, visceral body horror, but with a lyricism and emotion that evokes everything this anthology is trying to do and say.
Profile Image for Cassie Daley.
Author 8 books208 followers
June 30, 2022
I've been reading a lot of "dark poetry" in recent years, this is definitely going to be up there among my most highly recommended collections. There's a lot here from so many unique voices writing about so many different parts of what being a woman can mean - loved it. The body horror here isn't always something you find in poetry, and it was handled so well. I also really appreciated the inclusivity of the authors & the topics - another thing you don't see a lot of, although I'm happy to see that landscape start to change little by little, even if it can never be fast enough.

Overall a stunning collection, one I'm very glad to have on my shelves. And that COVER! Wow! So so gorgeous.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch SpookyReads Reindeer .
5,265 reviews297 followers
April 3, 2022
This intense anthology of Poetry and Prose Poetry of Body Horror by Women Authors is definitely not a collection into which one dips lightly for appealing bedtime soothing reading. There's nothing "light" here, although you certainly will find hope and determination and willpower and that particular indestructibility of the female spirit. Women are, after all, the bearers of Life.
Like Erin Al-Mehairi, Bola Juju, Nalo Hopkinson, the Women Poets represented here will reduce your Soul to Atoms, then reconstruct it anew.
Profile Image for Liv Sol Lilith Oschlag.
88 reviews4 followers
October 11, 2021
I think my expectations were a bit too high going into this poetry collection. Knowing what it intended to do, I expected to be blown away, horrified, perhaps disgusted, and that this content would provoke a lot of introspective thought on my part as a female reader. I anticipated something like the emotions I went through reading the short stories in "Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado—visceral dread, trauma release and unease, heightened by the fact that the horror in those stories comes in large part from how they relate to existing in a female body. As it turned out, I counted only a handful of poems in "Under Her Skin" as having any such impact on me whatsoever, which is, in the end, a disappointment to me. Again: my expectations were perhaps a bit too high.

However, poetry and how it affects you is very subjective, and it is important to keep your biases in mind reading a collection such as this. Especially when it comes to poetry which springs from diverse voices where the poets' lived experiences may differ wildly from your own. For example, many of the poems had themes of pregnancy, womanhood as it pertains to fertility, and motherhood—themes which I just do not relate to at all. They are an important part of many people's lives, though, and I recognize that those works just weren't written for me—and that is okay! They might be perfect and feel very resonant to another reader.

Beyond that, though, other poems I regretfully had issues with because they were just too vague for me. I love symbolism, but it needs to be rooted in some sort of clear intent, and here, at times I struggled to understand what the writer was trying to convey, as though the direction was somehow "off".
Others felt too shallow to me; I wanted the poems to cut deeper into the themes they centered around, because there is so much potential in the concept of cis and trans women and non-binary folks expressing their own personal horror, but I felt like a great number of the poems didn't deliver on their promise. At times, they felt repetitive.
Some of the ones I enjoyed the least read to me like the writer had formulated their phrases from a list of words that they thought sounded cool or beautiful, and those poems ended up saying nothing but "look at these pretty words" to me, which left me feeling empty.

Now a superficial note: the cover art is absolutely gorgeous, but the small drawings inside felt a bit... rushed? They could have benefited from more work. And there could have been more drawings, for that matter—they seemed kind of unevenly scattered throughout the collection, and that made them feel a bit like they were just thrown in there at the last second. This is just my opinion, but I felt like the drawings would have worked better and felt more organic to the content if they had had a more purposeful placement; perhaps if the poems came in some kind of thematic order, and the drawings separated the different themes like subtle chapter markers. I don't know. Just... as they were, I might as well have done without them.

In essence, I think mileage will probably vary with this collection. It might well be a five star read to you, and that will depend on what experiences, biases and preferences in writing that you bring to your reading experience. I would say to anyone curious, give it a chance—you might love it. For me, though, while I am sad to give it two stars as I truly respect the intention of what it was going for, in the end it just didn't give me what I wanted from it.
Profile Image for Helen.
262 reviews159 followers
November 10, 2021
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review—as always, thanks so much to Netgalley for sending this to me.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a poetry collection I’ve really loved, so I was excited to sink my teeth into this one. I tend to find that when reading a compilation like this, you always find a few gems, and I was hoping I’d discover some new poets to check out.

The themes of this collection were fascinating—the concept of the experiences of women and femmes told through the lens of torture and gore and body horror really spoke to me, as I feel like there’s a lot of inherent horror and the macabre in what we think of as the female/feminine experience. There was a lot of interesting and evocative imagery in this collection that made it a really uneasy read, in a good way. I think it knew what it was trying to do and in some ways delivered very well.

That being said, I was pretty underwhelmed with most of the poems. A lot of it is probably due to personal preference, as I have a pretty specific poetic style and voice that I’m fond of and many of the poems here felt very accessible and approachable and pared down. My personal preference these days is for poetry that messes with my head a little bit, that really plays with shape and form, poetry that doesn’t let me in too willingly. I feel like especially given the subject matter, it would have been interesting to see things lean further in that direction. I also felt that most of the best poems were saved for the end, meaning that I spent most of the book feeling distinctly ‘meh’ before there were a handful of works at the end that really spoke to me. Of course, in every poetry collection there will be some that work for every individual reader better than others, but for me the book really saved the best until last and it was a little too late to make up for it.

I also did find there were a lot of repetitive themes, which on one hand is understandable as I feel like certain topics that we largely associate with womanhood/femininity (pregnancy, motherhood, transformation during puberty, sexual assault etc.) naturally bring up these kinds of images. (I’m not really sure how best to describe this. I don’t want to be exclusionary here—to be clear, these are not exclusively female experiences, there are lots of things that go into being a woman and my intention is not to exclude anyone to whom these things don’t apply, and there were other topics in this collection as well, these ones in particular just stood out to me.) To a certain extent I was expecting some topics to come up repeatedly, and certain images and things like that. Blood, violence, gore, body horror. I did, however, feel like a lot of the poems felt very similar. You could give ten poets a prompt and have them do entirely different things with it, but here it felt like a lot of the poems were very close to one another and there wasn’t as much distinction in some of the voices. I suppose if you think of the book as a collective experience then that cohesion works well, however. It’s clear a lot of these feelings are shared by many people and there’s definitely a sense of connectedness in the book.

To sum up, this was an interesting collection, I really liked the theme and there were a lot of harrowing and unnerving and uncanny works in here, but I don’t think any of the poems massively stood out to me, and I didn’t have strong feelings about it on the whole. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Poptart19 (the name’s ren).
932 reviews6 followers
October 3, 2021
3 stars

Poems about the pain, oppression, & triumph of surviving life as a woman, from a diverse set of women (cis, queer, trans, enby, straight, POC, etc.) poets. There are some quite good poems, but many that felt repetitive & vague to me (thus only a 3 star rating).

[What I liked:]

•There are some gems in here, including poems by Linda M. Crate, Carina Bisset, Julieanne Lynch, Patricia Gomes, H. Grim, Tiffany Michelle Brown, & Morgan Sylvia.

•I appreciate that this collection includes representation of diverse writers, who are speaking from a variety of lived experiences & backgrounds, yet all are united by the unique beauties & horrors of womanhood.

•There are a lot of relevant topics explored in this collection: sexual violence & liberation, sexism & societal oppression, childbirth & reproductive health issues & bodily autonomy, self harm, body image struggles, etc. It’s refreshing to see some of these less-often addressed themes represented by such passionate female voices.

[What I didn’t like as much:]

•Several of these poems didn’t seem to fit the “horror” genre description very closely. I guess that all depends on your definition of horror, though. Some of the themes & the way they’re explored (particularly self harm & mental illness) feel very similar to many of the contemporary poem collections I’ve read recently. So I guess it’s that some of these poems don’t seem particularly “horror” in comparison.

•A lot of the poems in this collection felt repetitive & vague: depictions of aging bodies & self-inflicted harm through decaying nature metaphors & gory descriptions of flesh being flayed. Not that any are badly written, they’re still very evocative, but they started to blur together after awhile. Possibly since many of them just express a general sense of rage & pain with similar language & images, without any concrete links the source of those emotions and/or personal contextualization.

CW: sexual assault, mental illness, sexism, eating disorders, self harm, suicidal ideation, miscarriage(?), abusive relationships/domestic violence

[I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]
Profile Image for Frida.
208 reviews9 followers
October 27, 2021
I received an eARC copy from Black Spot Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 because of the pretty cover.

A fresh change compared with the recent flood of Instagram poetry, Under Her Skin presents dark horror body verses that can shake your senses from top to bottom. It screams Frankenstein; it screams Bram Stoker; it calls for shivers and goosebumps.

Thought-provoking and somewhat heart-breaking, these poems discuss many themes and experiences women, cis, trans women, and non-binary people go through each day, expressing their own personal horrors that others may or may not notice. The variety of these (very relevant and relatable) topics ranges astonishingly from sexual violence, pregnancy, giving birth to self-harm, sexual oppression, and simply surviving life.

Some of the poems did not quite fit the horror genre, or my expectations were too high. Perhaps what I consider horror isn't what some of these authors had in mind. But putting that aside, some poems gave a repetitive feel, making them look already seen and read, vague. Some lacked depth; some looked like all gory words picked out from a dictionary and put together, hoping they would resemble a poem. There was no connection, no expressiveness, no cohesion; something was missing, and I could not figure out what.

Having read The Husband Stitch recently, the first story in Carmen Maria Machado's short stories collection Her Body and Other Parties , I was probably expecting a heavy flow of symbolism, allegories, and metaphors in this poetry collection too. What I got were misplaced and somewhat confusing elements that I could not understand or connect with at times; that gravely affected my enjoyment of this collection.

One more honest remark - the cover art immediately grabbed my attention; it pulled at me with its invisible e-hands. It speaks volumes; it's gorgeously designed. However, the drawings inside looked very basic and not related to the poems at all. I would have hoped for more elaborate pieces, but that did not come through.

Nevertheless, it is still a solid collection of poems that lean towards horror, dark, and gory stories for all the fans of the spooky October season.
Profile Image for Rachel.
399 reviews12 followers
May 6, 2022
This book of poetry is beautiful, inside and out.

I've never really been drawn to poetry, but decided to explore it a little deeper as my experience is limited. What I discovered is the themes and writing styles are as vast as literature. If you think poetry isn't your thing, I urge you to explore poetry within your favorite genre. This compilation is dark poetry & I am here for it.

Under Her Skin is dark verse and lyrical prose from a group of amazingly talented women, cis and trans, and non-binary femmes in horror.

Heartbreaking, empowering, emotional, raw. Each and every poem embodies the female experience; therefore delivering an all encompassing exploration of the truth. Editors Lindy Ryan and Toni Miller did an amazing job at selecting poems that fit together like a glove yet still delivered a wide range of style, mood, and exploration of the female experience.

What I have come to love about poetry is the same poem can procure different emotions and interpretations from each reader. Even though I appreciated and enjoyed each and every poem in this book, the ones that stood out to me included:

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘞𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯, 𝘛𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘔𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘯
𝘔𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘴𝘢 𝘪𝘯 𝘍𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘍𝘰𝘳𝘮, 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘢 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘯
𝘓𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘓𝘦𝘧𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘔𝘰𝘮, 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘢 𝘔𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘬𝘦
𝘔𝘺 ���𝘰𝘥𝘺, 𝘔𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘢 𝘉𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘠𝘰𝘶, 𝘔𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘮 𝘏 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘯
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘊𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘖𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘜𝘴, 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘢 𝘓𝘺𝘯𝘤𝘩
𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘔𝘦𝘯 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘢 𝘞𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘳
Profile Image for ame.
141 reviews3 followers
July 6, 2023
Under Her Skin is a poetry collection that delves into the raw and emotional experiences of women. I started reading it a long time ago when I received the ARC, but I didn't manage to finish it. Now, I thought I would give it another try. The poems have a dark and powerful tone that is sure to leave an impact, and while some of the poems may not be for everyone, the collection as a whole is a moving exploration of the female experience. While i appreciate the writers' works, I wasn't necessarily a big fan of this book and there is three main reasons why:
1. I expected something more horror like, since the synopsis make it sound like that.
2. Most of the works in the collection were free poems, which I am generally not a huge fan of, although I do recognise that it's a me problem and not the book's.
3. Even though the poems were from different writers, it felt repetitive after a while.

Still, I would recommend this collection to anyone looking for a poignant read, since poetry is subjective and just because I didn't like it, doesn't mean that you wouldn't either.
Profile Image for Sarah Marie.
1,897 reviews233 followers
June 6, 2022
4 stars

This is a collection of horror poetry from women, trans women, and non-binary folks about the female body. It can be gritty, lyrical, or in the form of a story. I love poetry and I enjoy reading collections from the horror community recently. I did get burnt out on poetry in April cause I read so many in April due to National Poetry Month and it took me a while to finish this one. I did eventually get back into the groove of reading these poems and it's a collection I plan to return to. I think I will purchase a copy of my own to reread and mark up so that I can fully immerse myself into this collection for a better full scope and appreciation of all of the themes.

Thank you, Netgalley and Black Spot Books, for providing me with a copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Erin Wilson.
303 reviews2 followers
November 11, 2021
I received an e-arc of this title for review purposes courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.

New favourite poetry/short fiction collection, hands down!

Even from the editor's note at the beginning I knew I was going to love the tone of the book. And then getting to experience the incredible writing from so many talented authors was amazing.

The language used was so dark and luscious in its descriptions of body horror. It pulled no punches with it's rage and feminist themes.

I pre-ordered a physical copy as soon as I finished the last page. I think that shows how much I enjoyed it more than words.
Profile Image for Léa.
324 reviews1,856 followers
December 16, 2021
Rating - 2.5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review!

This collection of poetry inspired by many classic horrors was gruesome and gory but included many beautiful passages.
Seeing such a variety of authors was so heartwarming and receiving a little snippet from each unique writing style was an incredible way to find writers that I really enjoyed. My only issue with this collection is that I found a few poems fairly repetitive! But overall, I definitely recommend it for horror lovers who have an interest in poetry or are intrigued in delving into the genre!
Profile Image for emma.
109 reviews4 followers
January 20, 2022
i was super intrigued by the gorgeous cover and the description of this! i'm not a huge poetry reader (yet) but i was very fascinated by this concept. while i did anticipate something a little bit different from what it was, it wasn't a change for the worse! some of the poems deeply resonated with me, and i think that's part of what makes this sort of literature great and scary at the same time. overall, the themes and writings were very interesting!

thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for sintiareads.
131 reviews2 followers
October 11, 2021
I was intrigued to read this collection of horror poems about women, but I didn't like it. I like the symbolism behind them, but I couldn't find one and say "I really like it". I felt like there was something missing about each poem and most of the time I felt like something was off about them.
This doesn't mean other readers won't like this collection, but personally I didn't find it that great.

Thank you NetGalley for the free e-book.
Profile Image for Ayre.
941 reviews36 followers
April 5, 2022
This is a body horror poetry collection written by various femme presenting authors.

The poetry in here was good and stuck well with the theme. I prefer poetry that tells an overarching story but it isn't fair to judge an anthology of multiple authors based on that.

Recommend for anyone who likes dark poetry and might be looking for a new author to fall in love with

I received an ARC of this title from Netgalley. I was not required to leave this review.
Profile Image for Rafaela Camilo.
248 reviews33 followers
April 19, 2022
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This one was beautiful and haunting, but with much of the same themes being used for all the entries, it did start to feel a bit repetitive after a while.
Profile Image for Cynthia Mejia.
295 reviews54 followers
December 30, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of dark poetry by a variety of women. Though these are the writings by authors who are identified as women in the horror genre, the poems represented here take a more abstract look and feel of horror. Beautifully constructed works address a myriad of themes, from gender norms and sexism to relationships and mental illness. Go into this collection ready to peel back the horrors that are part and parcel of being a woman. The authors offer a wide representation of what being female means. And there was a feeling of darkness and passion that pervaded throughout the entire collection.

I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Salsa.
6 reviews39 followers
February 3, 2022
Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The description of this book led me to believe that this would be a horror poetry book….it’s not. It’s a whole lot of poems talking about the horror in society’s expectations and the horror of life as a woman. That’s my take on it anyway and that was a bummer :( anyway now that the clarification is out of the way, the review:

The book had lovely illustrations, fitting perfectly near the poems they’re placed in and would catch my eye for a few seconds and allow me to guess what poem to expect. I had really high expectations starting this anthology, a breath of fresh air with women’s poems, but was slightly disappointed almost 25% in. The poems are good, but when they’re saying the same thing over and over again it doesn’t matter how good they are, they end up feeling redundant.

I rated most of the poems here 3 and 4 stars while some got 5 stars, those are the ones I ended up bookmarking to come back to later.

Some of my faves from the collection:
- “We” by Morgan Sylvia, she incorporated horror references so well in this and I loved her lines “we brought the things you asked for/ The skulls filled with memories, the severed arms heavy with violence/ The bones full of pain/ But it was never enough”. Her poem was also quite delicious on the tongue with its flow and rhythm, so definitely worth the 5

- “Beautiful” by L. Marie Wood who had such an impactful piece, I wish I could post the whole thing here, but alas that wouldn’t be allowed.

- “Metamorphosis” by Caitlin Marceau.This was heartbreaking to read, because of how relatable it is to every woman, when everyone has a say on your body, from the men you pass on the streets with their stares that speak volumes, to the magazines telling you what body you need to have and why yours is not the ideal one. She brought out this battle so well with her words.

- “Snakeskin” by Stephanie M. Wytovich whose poem felt freshly unique and vividly intriguing.

- “These men are all one monster” by Cassondra Windwalker. Reminds me of “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. This had such beautiful mastery of language, a pleasure to read and visualise.
- “Shredded Alterations” by Sara Tantlinger whose poem on change had so much depth and meaning.

Others that deserve an Honorable Mention:
- “Outside In” by Dalena Storm
- “Zombification” by Roni Stinger,
- “I carry” by Maureen O’Leary
- “Pieces” by Annie Neugebauer
- “Danse De La Mort” by R. J. Joseph
- “The Carrion Flowers” by Morgan Sylvia, and many more, even the ones which I rated 3 and 4 were pretty good too, while the ones I gave 2 were a handful of them at most.

Overall I’d give this book a 3.5/5, because out of 88, most had 3 and 4 stars, but because the description misled me, I’m gonna remove a .5 and rate it a solid 3. It’s an interesting collection, just wish it had a bigger range in terms of content. If you plan on reading this then please be aware that there might be some triggers like implied ED, self harm, suicide, abuse, death etc.

Happy reading :)
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