Death Wears a Dress


  • Tania De Rozario University of British Columbia



poetry, tropical, gothic, Asia, female ghosts


In many parts of Asia, female ghosts play an interesting role in how the supernatural is imagined and constructed. Whether she be the pontianak who waits for her victim by the side of the road, or the mother or lover who returns for revenge, the female ghost is often characterised as treading the line between agency and oppression. On one hand, she is an autonomous character who seeks justice on her own terms; on another, she is usually reduced to a victim of violence while she is alive, and her agency is only granted in death… in the transformation of her identity from victim to villain.

Death Wears a Dress is a collection of poems inspired by numerous female “monsters” central to Asian folklore, many of whom continue to reincarnate through horror films, pop culture and social media. Through poetic verse, I hope to centralise, re-imagine and humanise the experiences, emotions, desires, fears and regrets of these fictitious women in an effort to unearth possible insights about gender, power, longing and justice.

Death Wears A Dress is being written with the support of Singapore’s National Arts Council’s Creation Grant.

Author Biography

Tania De Rozario, University of British Columbia

Tania De Rozario is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of And The Walls Come Crumbling Down and Tender Delirium (Math Paper Press, 2016 & 2013). Tania was the 2011 winner of Singapore’s Golden Point Award for English Poetry, and her visual and written works have been showcased in Singapore, the USA, the UK, India and Russia. She is the co-founder of EtiquetteSG, the group’s most recent work includes the development and facilitation of art and writing workshops focused on issues of gender-based violence. Tania is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.




How to Cite

De Rozario, T. (2019). Death Wears a Dress. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 18(2).