POC ZINE PROJECT — ZINE SPOTLIGHT: Skinned Heart Quatro, reviewed by Nia King

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: Skinned Heart Quatro, reviewed by Nia King

EDIT: Skinned Heart Quatro by Nyky Gomez (2012)

TITLE: Skinned Heart Quatro




ORIGIN: Seattle, WA, USA


About recovering from an emotionally and physically abusive relationship - some of the details of it. I am always so proud when  people have the ability to write about what exactly was the abuse,  because emotional abuse is so commonly not recognized when we’re in it, and it can really help to see other people’s experiences - to be able to say “yes! That is what it was like for me too!”

And it is also so good to read about her becoming herself again - learning to have confidence, taking care of herself, her current healthy relationship, still caring  about the world and people.

Also about Assimilation and Resistance, living away from her family  and longing for her cultural roots (living in Seattle instead of the South West), family history and that feeling of living in dual  realities, and assimilation being hard to stop. 

WHERE TO BUY: http://www.dorisdorisdoris.com/zines3.html

$3.65 u.s., $4.25 canada and mexico, $5.25 international


By Nia King

EDIT: Nia King holds Skinned Heart Quatro by Nyky Gomez (2012)

[DESCRIPTION: Nia King holds up her copy of Skinned Heart Quatro by Nyky Gomez. Photo edit by POCZP]

Nyky breaks the silence about a lot things in Skinned Heart Quatro: seasonal depression, emotional and sexual abuse, chronic medical problems, and estrangement from her culture of origin.

The zine starts with a short essay called Northwest State of Mind, which talks about moving from the Southwest to the Northwest: the differing physical environment, cultural norms, and lack of sunshine. Nyky goes on to detail the journey of being in an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship: realizing it was abusive, gradually prying herself free, and slowly healing. (I appreciated the trigger warning for this section.)

The next story, Mi Cuerpo es Mio, describes her struggle with an ongoing medical crisis: having chronic bladder infections for unexplained reasons, eventually being diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, and being forced to adopt a healthier lifestyle (all without insurance).

The last essay, Chasing the Dream, is a reflection on the intergenerational impact of assimilation: being fourth generation Mexican-American, feeling estranged from Brown culture, and being “shown up” by white girls who speak better Spanish.

Excerpt from Skinned Heart Quatro by Nyky Gomez (2012)

[DESCRIPTION: A page from Skinned Heart Quatro by Nyky Gomez]

Nyky’s writing is poignant, insightful, and sharp. I love the way that she melds being earnest and vulnerable and being punk rock/cursing like a sailor so seamlessly. For example, reflecting on her time in Seattle, she says, “I’ve met some fucking awesome people and I’ve met some weird people and I’ve met some real shitheads, and I’m constantly learning how to communicate with different people different ways that are still me.” She makes it look easy to put words to the feelings so many of us identify with but struggle to articulate. For example, reflecting on her abusive relationship, she notes, “Love can cloud your perception and confuse your emotional alarms sometimes.”

Much of her reflection and analysis will resonate with anyone who has been in a shitty relationship or been involved with punk/anarchist communities. One of this zine’s greatest strengths is drawing attention to the way punk and radical feminism make women feel like they have to be tough and strong, even at the expense of their own emotional well-being. This is an important work by a great writer and well worth the three dollars.

- All photos provided by Nia King


Nia King is a mixed-race artist, activist, writer, and filmmaker from Boston, MA who is proud to call Oakland home.

Nia is a contributor to ColorlinesInterrupt Mag, and Youngist. Her writing about race, gender, and sexuality has also been published in Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory and the book Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric. She has presented her undergraduate thesis, “Mangos with Chili: Life-Sustaining Performance Art for and by Queer and Transgender People of Color,” at Stanford University, UC Riverside, and the University of Arizona.

Her filmThe Craigslist Chronicles, has screened at the National Queer Arts Festival, Queer Women of Color Film Festival, York University, University of Toronto, and NYU. Her comics have been published by ColorlinesQWOC Media Wire, and Interrupt Mag. Her most recent project is a podcast where she interviews emerging queer and transgender artists of color. She currently works as a freelance journalist, videographer, and comedy writer. She is also available for speaking engagements and film screenings.

You can contact Nia directly at niaking AT zoho DOT com.

Learn more about Nia’s zine-making history here.


COMMUNITY: Do you want to review zines for POCZP? Learn more about POCZP internship & volunteer opportunities here. We are still accepting applications. 

If you specifically want to help review zines, email poczineproject@gmail.com with “zine reviews” in the subject line. We reserve the right to prioritize applications from people of color.

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