Lerah Mae Barcenilla

“I mean no harm,” Issem said, forcing her voice to steady. Fear was weakness. Fear was food. The soul, a rippling shadowed silhouette, soon took a more human form, female, with glowing sockets where her eyes should be, long unnatural nails like blades protruding from black fingers and a smile, sharp and crooked, carved across the shadow of her face. “I am only passing through.”

The Babaylan Sisterhood

Born in Manila, Philippines, writer and poet Lerah Mae Barcenilla grew up in a small province full of magic, tradition and superstition.

Her work touches on topics of the diaspora, memory, mythology, folklore and the state of duality. She particularly enjoys breaking apart narrative structures and exploring how words exist on and outside of the page. Her writing has appeared in The Alchemy SpoonHarana Poetry, Verve Poetry Press and was Highly Commended in the Literary Consultancy’s Pen Factor Award – Novel (2021).