Strange, striking and sensitive poetry about skin, eczema, psoriasis, topical steroid withdrawal and troubled skin.
These are the poems I wish I could have read throughout my life with eczema. I could never find my life, my skin, my feelings represented as poetry so I wrote my own. It’s been so much fun and also powerful therapy and healing to write and I hope you love them.
Here are just a few comments from happy readers:
“Poems to make you empathise, laugh and cry. Fabulous book.” Emma
“Relatable, honest and raw.” This is truly a project of love and you will have emotions reading it.” Amy
“These are bloody amazing – pun intended…” Sean Dillnutt
Nothing has ever hit so hard. “This book was so overwhelming because it was as if someone finally understood how I felt, and it also meant I was not alone in these feelings. Thank you for sharing this with the world and thank you for being so honest x” Shona
The hell that is itch “It is almost impossible to imagine, if you have not experienced it, the overpowering and compulsive need to scratch if you suffer from bad eczema. Nor the frightening mix of pain and pleasure that pursuing an itch down to the bone will give, even though you know how much you will suffer afterwards for doing so. Ruth’s poems convey this better than any description that I have ever read. But they also reveal her increasingly tender relationship with her tormented skin as she goes through the searing process of Topical Steroid Withdrawal.
A must read for anyone with an inflammatory, itching skin condition – and for those of us who don’t. Not only so that we realise how lucky we are that our skin is benign and peaceful but so that we understand, when we see someone with a raw, painful looking face or hand surreptitiously scratching, just a little of the compulsion that drives them.” Amazon customer
“It is fantastic. I opened it intending to read just a smattering and was two thirds of the way through before I put it down. Why is what you say so much more powerful in poetry than it is in prose?! Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, Free From Food Awards
“I’ve bought your book Ruth and I completely agree it’s Fab! My friend who suffers from eczema is really looking forward to reading it. I got it for her birthday.” Rachael (Book Club)
Your new poems are fascinating. I can’t wait to read some more. Buy the book everyone, it’s great! Sara (Book Club)
Thank you, I’m really enjoying it the poems are so well written and I truly resonate with them, it’s something I will keep forever 😊💛 adulting with eczema
I’ve read a few and I love them!! So relatable!! Thank you for sharing your poems! ❤️ It’s so refreshing reading them and going yes I completely understand and it’s what I am going through! Xxx elle_eczema
I got you book over the weekend, it’s amazing. I’m going through tsw too but feel I could never share as you have so thank you for that. I think I’m in a better place now than a year ago, and am starting to process the worst of it and how much pain I was in. Reading the poems was soo good as it felt like I was not alone, and really captured how i was feeling at some points. A big thanks for sharing your journey as it has helped me soo much watching you and others, giving me hope that things would improve. Anyway amazing work, hope you are doing ok at the minute x Stephanie
It’s arrived. Opened it at the baby skin one, and it’s completely stopped me in my tracks. Poor baby skin. I can’t wait to snuggle up with a cup of tea, your book and a big, healthy cry later! Thank you so much. Scalyways
I don’t want to read this all at once. But everything I have so far is tugging in my heart. The relatedness in just a few words.. urgh. You’re so talented!!! This is such a beautiful book ! I’m going to keep it forever. Grace
Your poems are brilliant. I never felt so understood. Joanna Blein Feel Good Couture – Eczema clothing.
Michelle Berriedale Johnson – Reviews the The Shape of Skin
I never expected to find myself reading a book of poetry about awfulness of living with bad eczema. And not only reading it but being gripped by it, turning page after page to read more of Ruth’s tight, brief, heart rending cries of pain, of rage, of despair and finally of acceptance and contentment.
For anyone with a skin condition, especially an itchy one, the resonances are huge; for anyone close to an eczema or a Topical Steroid Withdrawal sufferer, the poems would bring helpful insight and understanding; for poetry lovers it will confirm that belief that there is no condition that poetry cannot help, inspire and relieve; for the rest of us it is a book that rewards when least you expect it to. Click here for the full book review and read Michelle’s favourite poems from the book.
Buy your copy today!
The Shape of Skin is available as Kindle and paperback on Amazon for just £7.50.
If you would like a signed copy, please email me.
European residents – the book seems to be coming up quite highly priced on Amazon, sometimes 30 Euros. I can sell it much cheaper and am currently working out postage for different countries. If you’d like me to send you a copy, get in touch and I can post you a signed copy too.