What are we looking for? - Honest erotica

I love writing erotic poetry.  I remember writing one of my first erotic poems about watching myself masturbating in the reflection of a radiator, and how I didn’t ever question whether this was something I should be writing. When I write about the point of orgasm or oral sex or the bodily experience of arousal, there is a sense of calm and confidence about what I am writing. This is my experience, this is what I know, and ultimately, this is the moment when I feel at my most perfect.  And I return to the end of this essay by Adrienne Rich from What is found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics: “A poem can’t free us from the struggle for existence, but it can uncover desires and appetites buried under the accumulating emergencies of our lives” (p12,13 ) I’m not claiming any political agenda by writing in this way, I want only to write about experiences we often bury in our lives. And what a beautiful feeling to write about.  Love, Wendy x 

What are we looking for? – Annie Ernaux’s ‘Simple Passion’

Wendy and I are both deeply fond of everything Annie Ernaux writes. For some months now, we’ve been slowly working our way through the author’s catalogue, savouring each book and sending voice notes galore to celebrate the writing style, and the reaction it prompts in us both. Admittedly, this is a cheat bit of guidance given that Under Your Pillow remains a place to celebrate poetry, and we’re starting with prose. But we hope ‘Simple Passion’ is just about beautiful enough for us to get away with it.  “Quite often I would write down on a sheet of paper the date, the time, and “he’s going to come,” along with other sentences, fears—that he might not come, that he might not feel the same desire for me.” ― Annie Ernaux, Simple Passion ‘Simple Passion’ isn’t erotica in the strictest sense. Though it is a book about a woman who is desperately sexually attracted to man – who she knows she shouldn’t be involved with – and the story is laden with sexual tension as a result of that.  The bea

Under Your Pillow

Under Your Pillow is an anthology of erotic verse curated and edited by Wendy Allen and Charley Barnes, to be published by Victorina Press. The collection  will bring together sex and erotica, confined to poems and prose poems. Works can adhere to a form, or be free-form, though we do ask that all topics are handled tastefully by the authors. If a piece is particularly transgressive, we ask that authors include Content Warnings (CW). The project will open for submissions in June 2022 . There will be a £3 reading fee for every submission entered. Submissions will remain open until the end of August 2022 . Our reading period for submissions will be September to the end of October , with final decisions being announced in the first week of November .  Once authors have been notified, any necessary edits will be carried out throughout the winter months of 2022. Though we will be particularly drawn to works that do not require editing at all, or only require a ‘light touch’. Wendy and Charl