Ghost Skin // Wren Hanks

Wren’s GHOST SKIN is a haunted little chapbook about identity and ancestry, at once a eulogy for what is lost, a grandmother, and a falling away of the past self, a transition into new-self. The language is lush and image-heavy, speaking of moon jellies, trumpet vines, and red feathers—Gorgons and thistles and bones. Divine with this speaker, discover the things embedded into their skin like memory, rooted deep and blooming. (Porkbelly Press, 2016) // available in our shop


The ghosts scratch in the dirt, spelling out my name with chicken feet. Through the movement of a planchette over the scratches I can talk to my mother, who is still living. Through the movement of the planchette, I can talk to my grandmother, who is dead.

My grandmother’s ghost is a hen with feathers so red they’re blinding. Her ghost is a hen with feathers checkered like hotel tiles.

Join me in this smothered house, I say, but she tucks her beak into her down until she’s no longer much—a marble sinking into my palm.

about the poet

Wren Hanks is the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press). A 2016 Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow, their poetry appears in Gigantic Sequins, Drunken Boat, Bone Bouquet, Permafrost, and elsewhere. They are an Associate Editor for Sundress Publications and live in Brooklyn with their girlfriend and two difficult cats.

cover & art

The cover is inkjet printed on premium matte paper. It’s trimmed down to just under 6 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches and bound by hand with heavy thread.

“One’s Destiny Always Arrives”
artist » Alexandra Eldridge
portfolio »


Sugared Water
Noble / Gas Quarterly
Hermeneutic Chaos

books from other presses

Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2016)
gar child (Tree Light Books, forthcoming)


2017 Elgin Award Nomination