Meet the Tragedy Queens Part II: The Voices Behind Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath


When I first put put out the submissions call for this anthology I was burning with curiosity to see what fans of Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath would write. My inbox was quickly flooded to the point that it was overwhelming. Eventually I combed through all the submissions & narrowed them down to 23 stories for the anthology. These are the voices that floored me, that stayed with me, that haunted me & filled my mind with images I could not forget. Meet the authors that rocked my world.

They will rock yours too.




Tragedy Queens High res









Author: Lorraine Schein

Story: SP World


2.  I am a poet and sf writer, read Tarot for a hobby, and try not to take myself as seriously as her (though I’ve been institutionalized too). I was intrigued by reading about Ted Hughes’ other woman, who died the same way, and his somewhat anti-Semitic comments about her.

My poetry book, The Futurist’s Mistress, is available from

3.  The first edition of Ariel was my inspiration.




Author: Ashley Inguanta

Story: A Ghost of My Own Making

1. Both.

2.  Ashley Inguanta is a writer and artist who learned how to time travel this year, but she can only go from years 1400-2018. She lives in Florida most of the time, and recently she became friends with a librarian herbalist who is teaching her how to appreciate the swamplands. She is the author of The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press 2013), For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books 2014), and Bomb (Ampersand Books, 2016). She is currently showing and working on several Poetry Room installations.

3. Lana Song: High by the Beach. Plath Poem: Wintering




Author: Tiffany Scandal

Story: Loose Ends: A Movie

1. Both. Both women are/were fierce af. Plath’s work that wasn’t toned down by her husband is so profound and breathtaking. She was so angry, and rightfully so. How she expressed herself through poetry will always be an inspiration. Lana is a sultry badass. Her music makes me wanna sexy dance in front of whatever flaming wreckage I leave behind.

2.  My name is Tiffany Scandal. I’m an author, editor, podcaster, photographer, and former nude model over at Suicide Girls. I enjoy drinking coffee and playing with pussy (cats) all day long. My hair color changes as often as my mood does. I live in Portland, Oregon.



3.  I listened to Lana’s ULTRAVIOLENCE on a loop while I wrote the story. Don’t know how much of the content influenced the story, but it’s a great album to write to.


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Author: Lisa Marie Basile

Story: Girls in the Garden of Holy Suffering

1. Lana is my modern muse. She is a gem in an era of squeaky-clean pop and perfect production. She is dark and moody and lingering and unapologetic. But Sylvia–she is a forever muse. She is our sisterkin, our poetic ancestor, of sorts. She’s the Supreme Witch.

2. I’m Lisa Marie Basile, living in New York City. I’m an editor by day. I write poetry and essays and I make magic. I am the author of Light Magic for Dark Times (which you can preorder now!) and I’m working on a novella for CLASH Books. I’m a dreamer, a chronic scorpio, a swimmer, and a witch. I am also the founding editor of Luna Luna Magazine, which is a digital coven of light and dark. I’m the most put-together fucking mess you’ll ever meet.




3.  I think, for this anthology, I really leaned into Lana’s Ultraviolence era. It’s moody and heavy and dark and all about the male gaze and obsession with one’s own sadness. That hunger to be wanted, to be seen, to be loved, to feel, to experience LOUDLY–it’s all part of the engine of life. I wanted to say it all.




Author: Gabino Iglesias

Story: Gods in the Blood

1. Both! I think they are very different, strong, strange women. The depth of Plath’s emotions and intellect was staggering. As for Lana, there’s something bizarre about her music and something unsettling about her quiet beauty and demeanor.

2. I’m a hustler who writes, reads, and reviews. Last months poet Isaac Kirkman called me a leviathan, so I’m using that as my new bio. I live for books, music, and the magical weirdness of life, death, and the spiritual places between and beyond those two. In the age of the bruja, I’m a Caribbean brujo with too many strong opinions.



3. I saw the video for High by the Beach while thinking about my story. There’s a lot of sadness in the first part of the video. Lana, alone and looking down, walks around a beautiful house and later on some rocks by the beach. Watch that video thinking about Plath, about her life and depression… Anyway, then out comes a huge gun and Lana blows up a fucking helicopter. That image spoke to me about the inner strength of women, and my tale began to take shape in my head, sprinkled with Orishas, as always.




Author: Farah Rose Smith

Story: The Land of Other

1.  I have so much respect for both Sylvia Plath and Lana del Rey that I found myself trying to bridge different areas of their influence into this story. Both have a way of painting atmospheric sadness with their words. I wanted to use that as a base to explore the idea of depression and incapacitation being dismissed when girls become women, the tragedy of perceived failure as a mother, the loss of a child. These are matters that women experience and don’t necessarily see reflected realistically in fiction. I also wanted to capture Lana’s neo-Symbolist approach of elevating emotional experiences, in a way that feels transcendent, while working through some of my own memories of recovering from a stroke.

2. I am a writer, editor, lapsed short film director, musician, and artist. I have a passion for Latin American and Middle European lit (especially German fantasists), blues music, Symbolist/Surrealist art, and got my start writing Weird fiction. In my spare time I am studying to become an art historian and dancer.

dream w clam diggers

3.  Plath’s poem DREAM WITH CLAM-DIGGERS had the greatest influence over this piece. I tried to stray away enough from mirroring elements so that the influence would be only a thread, or a glimmer. Seaside memories, summer sadness (also very much a Lana thing), the delicate intersection of the natural world with a sublime one, children, dreams. By weaving these elements gently, I felt it would be a way of paying homage to Plath respectfully.




Author: Monique Quintana

Story; Sad Girl

1. I’m always inspired by Lana’s trash glam musical aesthetic and have been enamored with Plath’s bee poems for quite awhile now. Everything they do is grotesque, but still very beautiful.

2.  I’m a Pocha/Xicana who hails from the Central Valley, “the other California.” I live that adjunct English teacher life and have an affinity for the Muppets, Ramón Novarro, red lipstick, Ray Bans and the band, Prayers. My real last name is Gonzalez and I’m an Aries. Moon in Virgo.

3.  The song “Sad Girl” was my story inspiration because it’s about being hung up on a intense complicated man and I’m a sucker for that kind of doomed love. #cholosbelike








About Leza Cantoral

Leza Cantoral is a human who lives on the internet. She is the editor of Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath, host of Get Lit With Leza podcast, author of Cartoons in the Suicide Forest, & editor in chief of CLASH Books. She blogs at Twitter, IG, FB @lezacantoral

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