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I am (incredibly) happy to report that Hippocampus Press is now taking preorders for my second weird / Lovecraftian fiction collection, Dark Equinox. Find all the details – and a draft version of creepy Southwestern cover art by Lyndsay Harper! – here.

For May, at least, Hippocampus Press is also offering a package deal on Dark Equinox & my omnibus weird poetry collection Twisted in Dream. Find details here. This one came out in 2011, & includes my very SF 36-sonnet sequence In the Yaddith Time.

I’ll be posting more details & a real “cover reveal” later. For now, happy Mother’s Day weekend to any & all moms reading. Stay weird!

We’re a little more than halfway through National Poetry Month (in the US), but new reading opportunities for speculative poetry lovers keep popping up online! Here are two to start off your weekend:

1. Issue #16 of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s online journal Eye to the Telescope is up! This one is music-themed, & guest-edited by Diane Severson divadiane1. It’s a big issue – 22 poems – featuring both Usual Suspects & newer names in the spec poetry field. The poems themselves range widely, from free verse to haiku to various flavors of formal. Find it all right here.

(Truth in LiveJournaling: I have the lead-off poem in this one. It’s a pantoum, "Siren Stars.")

2. is celebrating National Poetry Month with poems from “notable names in the science fiction and fantasy fields.” The most recent post is “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dragon” by Mari Ness, but they’ve been doing this since 2011 – from what I can tell. Find the whole fascinating assortment here.

Dreams from a Black NebulaDreams from a Black Nebula by Wade German

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a generously-sized collection of (mainly) formal dark verse, skewing toward the Clark Ashton Smith end of the weirdness spectrum. The poems are divided into five sections, one of which seemed to be a loosely-connected sequence (“Songs from the Nameless Hermitage”).

Wade German is a relative newcomer to weird poetry, but he’s a fine technician in a wide variety of forms – sonnets are a particular favorite in this collection – and knows how to vary them for effect. His free verse is also well-structured and effective, though possibly less musical.
The overall effect of these poems is rich and dreamlike, and I found myself taking them a few at a time rather than rushing through.

Recommended for fans of traditional genre poetry, Weird Tales-style dark fantasy, or both.

View all my reviews

I know I’ve already posted about haiku this week, but this time is (a) way less about me, and (b) very much about the speculative side of this form. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Amazing Stories blogger Diane Severson divadiane1 is featuring haiku in her Genre Poetry Round Up column this month, & this one’s a must read if you have any interest in SF, haiku, or both. The generously sized column is loaded with information & links to speculative haiku, both in SF-focused journals & more mainstream venues. And then there’s Twitter!

I’ve got one haiku in this (and it’s one I’m pretty proud of, honestly), but many members of SFPA come in for well-deserved mentions – accompanied by samples of their work. There are also plenty of tips for both haiku poets in search of markets & haiku readers in search of new material.

Find all this micro-poetic goodness here.

Editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles have just released the cover image and table of contents for She Walks in Shadows! They describe it as the first all-woman Lovecraftian anthology, and have included work by 24 international authors. Another 9 female artists have contributed the interior artwork – so there’s a whole lot of shadow-walking going on.

And I’m proud to be one of those walkers.

She Walks in Shadows will be available this fall in time for the haunting season, but pre-orders start this summer. Look for early preview copies – and editor Moreno-Garcia herself, as well as Yours Truly – at Necronomicon 2015 in Providence, RI.

For now, here’s the TOC to drool over:

“Bitter Perfume” Laura Blackwell
“Violet is the Color of Your Energy” Nadia Bulkin
“Body to Body to Body” S. J. Chambers
“De Deabus Minoribus Exterioris Theomagicae” Jilly Dreadful
“Hairwork” Gemma Files
“The Head of T’la-yub” Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia)
“Bring the Moon to Me” Amelia Gorman
“Chosen” Lyndsey Holder
“Eight Seconds” Pandora Hope
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” Inkeri Kontro
“Turn out the Lights” Penelope Love
“The Adventurer’s Wife” Premee Mohamed
“Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ Sharon Mock
“The Eye of Jupiter” Eugenie Mora
“Ammutseba Rising” Ann K. Schwader
“Cypress God” Rodopi Sisamis
“Lavinia’s Wood” Angela Slatter
“The Opera Singer” Priya Sridhar
“Provenance” Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” Molly Tanzer
“Lockbox” Elise Tobler
“When She Quickens” Mary Turzillo
“Shub-Niggurath’s Witnesses” Valerie Valdes
“Queen of a New America” Wendy Wagner

The full Innsmouth Free Press blog post is here.

If you’re like me, 2015 started off a little too fast . . . leaving you without enough time to enjoy the great spec poetry offered online in January.

Fortunately, it’s still there waiting for you! (Nice thing about the Internet.) Here are a couple of items to get you started:

divadiane1's recent Poetry Planet segments on the StarShipSofa podcast have featured winners of the SFPA’s Elgin Awards for best spec poetry collection & chapbook. These are really lovely readings, with a generous selection of poems from 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners in each category.

Find Part 1 (Poetry Planet #14) here.

Find Part 2 (Poetry Planet #15) here.

If you prefer to read rather than listen to your speculative poetry, the SFPA’s online journal Eye to the Telescope has issue #15 up. This one is guest-edited by Anastasia Andersen, and features work by women poets. Find it here.

[Truth in LJing: I have a poem in this issue. It’s a sonnet, “Self 2.0”]

Ankh, Scarab

on this day in 1845

Posted on 2015.01.29 at 15:16
Tags: , , ,
evening mirror
a deathless reflection
takes flight

                                     -- Ann K. Schwader

  1845 – American poet Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" appeared in the New York Evening Mirror, its first publication attributed to Poe.

Editor Mike Davis of the very popular Lovecraft eZine web site (over 186,000 minions as of this posting!) has been asking Lovecraftian /weird fiction writers the same five questions for fifteen installments now.

This week, it’s my turn in the eldritch tank. For a fairly complete recent bibliography of weirdness, a few biographical details, & why you should never let impressionable children read Dr. Seuss, check here.

Ankh, Scarab

Recent Acts of Weirdness

Posted on 2015.01.08 at 15:56
Tags: , ,
Over the recent holidays, a couple of contributors’ copies landed in my mailbox – one of them lightly, one with a resounding thump. Since both might appeal to fellow readers of the weird, I’m sharing a few details.

The Starry Wisdom Library, edited by Nate Pedersen (PS Publishing, December 2014) is a facsimile edition of “the catalogue of the greatest occult book auction of all time” – i.e., the abortive 1877 sale of the Church of Starry Wisdom’s impressive collection. It offers descriptions of 44 lots, in the form of short essays by a wide range of Lovecraftian & weird writers (with era-appropriate biographies, of course!). Mine is on Robert Bloch’s Black Rites.

This was the contrib that landed lightly: a slender (176 pp.) jacketed hardcover, with vintage-looking endpapers. Quite a lovely thing.

The TOC / full list of Learned Personages can be found here

Ordering info can be found here

The Weird Fiction Review #5 (Centipede Press, Fall 2014) , edited by S.T. Joshi, offers a bumper crop of weirdness for the aficionado. There are several interviews, scholarly essays & articles, columns, short fiction by both notables & newer writers, full-color art, even a good selection of poems. Two of these --“Frost Ghosts” and “Fatal Constellations” -- are mine.

This one contributed the resounding thump. It’s a massive (just over 300 pp.) annual, listed on Centipede’s site as “sewn paperback.” Think slick trade paperback with upscale production values, big enough to last through a long snowed-in weekend.

Further particulars & ordering info can be found here

The 2014 Rhysling AnthologyThe 2014 Rhysling Anthology edited by Elizabeth R. McClellan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Originally meant as a voting tool for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's annual Rhysling Awards, this year’s Rhysling Anthology is once again an attractively produced, perfect-bound reader's guide to the previous year in speculative poetry. All poems were nominated by the members of SFPA.

This year’s anthology offers 103 pages -- in my voting copy, anyhow -- of short and long-form verse, in a wide variety of styles. (Formal verse, however, is not extensively represented.) Many of the field’s most familiar names appear, along with a promising slate of newcomers.

I noticed somewhat less emphasis on fairy tale & myth this year, and a few more “slipstream” poems which seemed only marginally speculative. SF, fantasy, and straight-up dark verse continue to receive their share of attention. The quality of the poetry itself is high, though the wide spectrum of topics and approaches makes it unlikely that any one reader will appreciate every offering. I’d recommend taking it as a multidimensional box of cosmic chocolates, selecting a few at a time for maximum enjoyment.

A full listing of this year’s poets and poems appears here:

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