Welcome to my blog! My name is Brian-James and I am a published writer and poet. I also review books, graphic novels, poetry and music across many genres. Even though I lean towards dark poetry and speculative fiction, I also enjoy science-fiction, steampunk, and weird fiction. Often writing that might be referred to as Beat or “down and out” will ring my bells, so don’t be afraid to ask for a review of those titles! I’ve been reviewing for the Journal Stone Publishing sites. most often Hellnotes, since 2016 and also do a lot of posting right here. Something new coming up is becoming a member of the team at Gallows Hill Magazine and I will have more news on that as it develops. There should be some regular reviews there and feature articles like the series I did to celebrate Women In Horror Month.
I am available to produce informative, no bullshit reviews for people who are self publishing or companies looking for more exposure. My preferred format for reviewing is a physical copy of the book. Once in a while I will review a digital publication, but they are often pushed aside in favor of a physical book. My idea of “good poetry” is something powerful that gets one’s attention. That doesn’t mean you have to shout, a clear whisper works just as well if you’re saying what I want to hear. A little bit of fancy or unique language is fine, but I do not wish to be peppered with thee’s and thou’s, or visit Ye Olde Shoppe. I’m more interested in people getting their heads sliced off by a gravel truck, or a person who tried their best to win a mate but failed, so they found a cocktail waitress to date. I do appreciate sensitive poetry, but don’t send me ultra-flowery verse and expect me to enjoy it. Ditto on stories. Too much hem and haw equals ashcan. I am not offended by profanity, urban scenarios including fights and drugs, or sexual activity. However, they need to fit into the story line and have meaningful value. Pages and pages of graphic abuse of people and/or animals are better held onto for your own amusement. I won’t be able to write a positive review and we’ll both be wasting our time.
There’s also no tolerance of haters and shamers of any sort. Period. Damaged Skull Writer is an open and safe place for EVERYONE. This is about forging a community of creative people and supporting each other in a world that often beats us down. I personally am a physically handicapped person with mental health issues that writing and reviewing have really helped with. This community is a special thing and many of us stay in contact daily via Twitter. My handle there is @skullsnflames76 We welcome new members and visitors because we can all learn something new and cheering fellow writers on to success helps us get that much closer ourselves.
I’m going to revamp my publication history shortly, but recently my work has appeared in:
Weird Mask Zine Issue 15 Hard Boiled April 2019 “By The Book”
The Hickory Stump Magazine April 2019 “Hey Can Lady” poetry
SLAB April 2019 “BLUES” poetry
**More updating to come!
Trajectory Journal issue #13 “Garage Sense” poem
Third Wednesday Spring 2017 issue “Drug House” poetry/flash
Good writing to you all! See you on the next page
Brian James Lewis
Damaged Skull Writer