Cover Reveal for Bram Stoker Nominated Author and Poet Cynthia Pelayo’s Crime Scene

Raw Dog Screaming Press is thrilled to reveal the cover for a new dark poetry collection, Crime Scene, by Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo, an International Latino Book Award-winning and two-time Bram Stoker Awards® nominated poet and author. The ethereal, beautiful cover is by artist Don Noble and the collection will publish on October 13, but pre-order is open now.

U.S. preorders come with a signed bookplate
and limited edition sticker
Order Here

“I immediately reached out to Don directly last year after he shared the image,” Pelayo said. “I was still writing the collection, but I needed that image. I needed her, this exquisite, sad thing wasting away there. It represents what I wrote about in Crime Scene, something forever unknown, but forever beautiful.”

The cover showcases vibrantly the beauty of the thoughts and words and forgotten women amid the dark prose in the collection, but as well, shows the reality of the plight of the many missing and murdered souls destined only to dust.

About Crime Scene

Cynthia Pelayo sings a song for the least of us, the victim we want to forget as soon as possible, the one who disappeared before ever really appearing. With a fairy tale gaze and a heart bigger than the world, her siren song insinuates itself past our defenses, past the hardened calluses and apathy we’ve erected to protect ourselves from the everyday horror of another missing girl.

Pelayo relates the familiar story, poem by poem; a body is found, a brutal crime investigated, clues take us in circles, and lead us nowhere. We are on an epic journey, the hero’s journey, and it must play out to the end in all its painful, ticking moments. Pelayo imbues her hero, Agent K, with the entirety of our dedication and that crumb of hope we’ve been hiding, saving for later. We will need to save for years, for decades, if we want to come out the other side. The job takes its toll, the answers are never complete and whys fracture, crack and spread. Still there is no turning away. We must bear witness, though it changes and contorts us.

“When we read the manuscript for Crime Scene at RDSP, we knew we had to publish it,” Jennifer Barnes, editor and publisher, said. “We were proud to have worked with Pelayo previously, when publishing her 2016 poetry collection, Poems of My Night, and then enjoyed her previous true crime poetry collection, Into The Forest And All The Way Through. We felt we needed to support the continuance of this important work.”

Poems of My Night was nominated for an International Latino Book Award and Elgin Award. Crime Scene, however, follows Pelayo’s Bram Stoker Awards® and Elgin nominated 2020 poetry release by her press Burial Day Books, Into The Forest And All The Way Through, which features true crime poetry that explores the cases of over one hundred missing and murdered women in the United States

“After Into the Forest… I had so much more to say,” Pelayo said. “I needed a way out, and the only path forward was to tell an original tale in narrative verse, a crime story through poetry. 

Cina Pelayo, Biography –

Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo is an International Latino Book Award winning and three-time Bram Stoker Awards® nominated poet and author.

She is the author of LOTERIA, SANTA MUERTE, THE MISSING, and POEMS OF MY NIGHT, all of which have been nominated for International Latino Book Awards. POEMS OF MY NIGHT was also nominated for an Elgin Award. Her recent collection of poetry, INTO THE FOREST AND ALL THE WAY THROUGH explores true crime, that of the epidemic of missing and murdered women in the United States, and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and Elgin Award.

Her modern day horror retelling of the Pied Piper fairy tale, CHILDREN OF CHICAGO was released by Agora / Polis Books, and won an International Latino Book Award for Best Mystery (2021).

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College, a Master of Science in Marketing from Roosevelt University, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Cina was raised in inner city Chicago, where she still lives.

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Media –

Review copies when available can be obtained upon request, and interview inquiries can be coordinated, through Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at or twitter or Instagram (@erinalmehairi).