ankh_hpl: (Default)
Just in time for H.P. Lovecraft's birthday (August 20th), Spectral Realms #7 is now available from Hippocampus Press http://tinyurl.com/ya8xglow . Edited by S.T. Joshi, this latest issue of the twice-yearly journal of weird verse offers over 120 pages of poems and related articles from old hands and newer practitioners.


Contributing poets include Richard L. Tierney, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, John Shirley, Ashley Dioses, K.A. Opperman, David Barker, F.J. Bergman, and Yours Truly -- among others. (Full disclosure: I have three poems in this issue, all previously unpublished.)


Spectral Realms is published in attractive trade paperback format, with a classic Gustave Doré cover this time around.
ankh_hpl: (Default)
The 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry AssociationThe 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This year's Rhysling Anthology offers an excellent snapshot -- make that a whole photo album, or rather a 200 page perfect-bound trade paperback -- of the current state of speculative poetry.

Trends I noticed this year include a swing away from formal poems (though there were a few), a more mainstream tone, and an increased use of mythology outside the traditional Greek/Roman /Norse pantheons. Strongly narrative verse continues to be favored, and pure science fiction (as opposed to fantasy, dark /weird, or "other") seems to be making a comeback.

The overall quality of the poems this time around is impressive. So is the variety, which means most readers are unlikely to enjoy each and every one -- but will assuredly have their horizons expanded.





View all my reviews
ankh_hpl: (Default)
If your National Poetry Month is starting to feel a little tired & mundane, don't forget to check out the 2107 Rhysling Poets' Showcase offered on the SFPA's SPECPO blog.

https://specpo.wordpress.com/

The Showcase features poems from this year's Rhysling Anthology, a Rhysling Awards voting tool for members of Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association -- and an excellent snapshot of the year's best speculative poetry, for everyone.

Find six exciting poets -- & links to eight of their poems -- here:

https://specpo.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/2017-rhysling-poets-showcase-12/

And don't forget to check out the rest of the Showcase, as well!
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Looking for more speculative poetry in your National Poetry Month?

Check out SPECPO, the blog site for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.

This month, all month long, they're showcasing the poets featured in this year's Rhysling Awards anthology -- a voting tool for members, and an excellent read for all fans of SF/F/H poetry.

The first two Showcases are already up, here & here.

Each Showcase offers links to several 2016 poems nominated by the SFPA membership. It's all free (of course), but you can also learn how to order a PDF anthology, pre-order a print anthology, or even join SFPA yourself.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
National Poetry Month starts tomorrow (in the USA, anyhow)!

Are YOU ready?

If not, here's a list of helpful links to take you from bad to verse. Don't get caught with your pantoums down!

What is National Poetry Month, anyhow?

How can I celebrate it?

How can I get more free poetry in my life? (Try Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily, Rattle -- I use all of these.)

Where can I find out more about speculative (SF, fantasy, horror, etc.) poetry?


OK, that should get you started. I'll be posting more -- I hope -- on poetry all during April.

Truth in LJing: I commit poetry. Fairly regularly. I'm a member of SFPA, & the author of several collections of speculative poetry. My most recent, Dark Energies (P'rea Press 2015) was a Bram Stoker Award Finalist.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Sacrificial NightsSacrificial Nights by Bruce Boston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is a dark and effective novella-in-poems (with some prose / prose poem passages), weaving the lives of several characters into a compelling plot. The collaboration of Boston and Manzetti is nearly seamless, and the pages turn far more quickly than one would expect. The overall effect is one of noir hallucination, with several photomontage illustrations (by UK artist Ben Baldwin) enhancing the experience.

Aficionados of free verse, modern prose poetry, or noir fiction will probably find this a five-star ride. I prefer a little more structure and music, but still found myself unable to look away before this urban apocalypse reached its conclusion.

Full disclosure: I was supplied with an e-copy for Bram Stoker Award consideration.





View all my reviews
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Issue #22 of Eye to the Telescope, the SFPA's online journal of speculative poetry, has gone live!

In keeping with the season, this is the "Ghosts" issue. Edited by Shannon Connor Winward, it offers 27 spectral poems ranging from Gothic horror to folktale to spooky SF. There's a range of forms as well, though this issue runs pretty heavily toward free verse.

And, yes, Yours Truly does have something here: the terza rima sonnet "New World Haunting."
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The SFPA (Science Fiction Poetry Association) has announced the winners of the 2016 Elgin Awards. Named for SFPA's founder, Suzette Haden Elgin, these awards recognize the best chapbook and full-length collection of speculative poetry published in the preceding two years.


Chapbook:

1st -- Undoing Winter, by Shannon Connor Winward (Finishing Line Press, 2014)

2nd -- Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town, by John Philip Johnson (Graphic Poetry, 2014)

3rd --A Guide for the Practical Abductee, by E. Kristin Anderson (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014)


Full-Length Collection:

1st -- Crowned, by Mary Soon Lee (Dark Renaissance Books, 2015)

2nd -- The Robot Scientist's Daughter, by Jeannine Hall Gailey (Mayapple Press, 2015)

3rd -- Dark Energies, by Ann K. Schwader (P'rea Press, 2015)



Why, yes -- I am feeling slightly frabjous today. (Also very grateful.)


Read more about the contest, and the full list of nominees, here.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)

I’ve been traveling, so this announcement of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2016 Rhysling Awards is more than a little belated . . .

But is there ever a bad time for good news?

Check out the complete results here. (Maybe check the results for Long Form first.)

And, if you feel so inclined, you can still order your own copy – print or PDF -- of the 2016 Rhysling Anthology here. 176 pp. of nicely produced spec poetry goodness!

(Profound apologies for the fizziness – but whenever a formal Lovecraftian sonnet sequence can get this sort of recognition, it’s time for a Grateful Happy Dance.)
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
As I suspect most of the genre-reading world already knows, The Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot was announced yesterday, here.

Congratulations to everyone listed!

And if you scroll all the way down, you’ll see why Yours Truly has gone back into her Grateful Happy Dance.
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The latest issue of Spectral Realms, a weird poetry journal (plus articles & reviews on that topic) has been announced for sale at Hippocampus Press.

Edited by S.T. Joshi, this twice-yearly journal always offers a bumper crop of dark poetry & poets, but this time around it’s massive: 144 pages! Delivered in a nicely produced trade paperback format, it’s less a magazine than a permanent addition to any weird lit lover’s collection. Good for your dark-minded Valentine, too!

For the full TOC and ordering details, check here. The journal ships free within the USA, & free worldwide with any other qualifying purchase from the press.

[Truth in LiveJournaling: yes, I do have two poems in this issue. One is a very up-to-date bit of cosmic horror based on the discoveries of New Horizons.]
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The HWA’s 2015 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot is out now, here. Congratulations & best of luck to all!

Scroll down – way, way down – to see why Yours Truly is doing a very grateful Happy Dance.

(Sorry for this news being a bit late, but I spent the weekend picking teeth out of my office carpet. )
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Staff blogger Diane Severson’s[livejournal.com profile] divadiane1 latest post is up at the Amazing Stories site, & this time she’s offering a themed November 2015 Round Up.

Entitled Women Destroy Hard SF Poetry!!! ( title permission granted by John Joseph Adams), this comprehensive look at women writing verse on the harder end of the SF spectrum includes links to work by 22 poets. Five are featured, and one of those five is Yours Truly. Here’s the full list:

Lisa Timpf
Roxanne Barbour
Landon Godfrey
Wendy Van Camp
Sarah Blake
Margaret Rhee
Ruth Berman
Ann K. Schwader, featured
Marianne Dyson, featured
F.J. Bergmann, featured
Christina Sng, featured
Liz Bennefeld, featured
Deborah Guzzi
Renee M. Schell
Lark Bertran
Deborah P. Kolodji
Marge Simon
Stephanie Wytovich
Snigdha Chaya Saikia
Ada Hoffmann
A.E. Ash
Bronwyn Lovell


Though I don’t generally consider myself a hard SF writer, I do enjoy taking inspiration from the sciences (astronomy is a favorite), and I’m delighted to be part of this distinguished sisterhood. There’s lots to read – and think about – here!

ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2015 Halloween Poetry Reading site is up, and expanding day by day. Edited by Liz Bennefeld & Shannon Connor Winward, this annual online tradition offers atmospheric art & horrifying poems for the haunting season.

With a couple of exceptions, most of the poems are read by their creators – who also share snippets of information about the poems themselves, as well as web sites or blogs where more work awaits discovery.

This year, I finally managed to hold my mouth right long enough to contribute a reading to this project! Listen to my long measure poem “Wind Shift” (and many other spooky verses!) here.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
I haven’t posted about this poetry project before, because I wasn’t at all sure when it would be available . . . but I’ve finally been told that it’s coming out for Lovecraft’s 125th birthday.

Which is August 20th!

Dark Energies is my first collection of poems since 2011 -- and my first collection ever published in Australia, from P’rea Press. It’s a little over 100 pages of Lovecraftian, cosmic, archaeological, historical, & just plain weird darkness, including a brand-new sonnet sequence for Keziah Mason. The cover and elegantly creepy black & white illustrations are by David Schembri, with preface and afterword by S.T. Joshi and Robert M. Price, respectively. There’s also a short interview with me, done by editor Charles Lovecraft.

Dark Energies will be available in both paperback & hardcover editions (another first for Yours Truly), with an ebook format to follow later on.

If you’re attending NecronomiCon Providence 2015, Dark Energies will be available at the Ulthar Press table in the Vendors’ Hall. Otherwise, just check here for all the details – including how to preorder. (The current link is for the hardcover edition, but there are ordering options for both editions.)





ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Through some conjunction of right-turning stars that I am still unable to explain, I’m going to be Poet Laureate at NecronomiCon Providence, August 20-23. Since this one is in honor of H.P. Lovecraft’s 125th birthday-- doesn’t he look great for his age? -- I’m particularly thrilled.

Here’s my (current) schedule of panels, readings, & other activities, cribbed from the official website :


THURSDAY – August 20 – HPL’s 125th Birthday!
5:00 to 6:15pm – OPENING CEREMONIES – the First Baptist Church in America, 75 N. Main St. 02903 OPEN TO GENERAL PUBLIC (free)
Special Guests of Honor, including Ramsey Campbell, Leslie Klinger and Poet Laureate Ann Schwader, will welcome attendees and officially commemorate Lovecraft’s anniversary in this historic Providence landmark.
(I’m reading a specially written poem for this. Cross tentacles for me.)



SATURDAY – 1-2:15pm
SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS NO MORE – Grand Ballroom, Biltmore 17th Floor
Many of the most unique and powerful voices in weird fiction belong to women! Although once looked upon incorrectly as a white man’s genre, weird fiction has a long tradition of women writers, and that tradition continues today. Join us in celebrating these talented authors, and find out why they write Lovecraftian fiction.
Panelists: Caitlín Kiernan, Ann Schwader, Lois Gresh, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Anya Martin
Moderator: Faye Ringel

Saturday – 4:00-5:15pm
POETRY WORKSHOP – Renaissance Room, Biltmore 17th Floor
A special session welcoming of all poets and aspiring poets, led by Thomas Broadbent and Starry Wizdom, with our Poet Laureate Ann Schwader and several other remarkable eldritch scribes. Come together and share in the creative process or just enjoy the beautiful company.


SUNDAY

AUTHOR READINGS – L’Apogee, Biltmore 17th Floor.
Session Two: Lois Gresh and Ann Schwader (Note: session runs 10-11am)

POETRY READINGS – L’Apogee, Biltmore 17th Floor
Poetry circle (Note: session runs from 11am to Noon)
This session will be led by our Poet Laureate Ann Schwader, poet Adam Bolivar, and our own in-house muses Thomas Broadbent and Starry Wizdom, but feel free to bring some of our own favorite poetry to share

Sunday – 1-2:15pm
NAMELESS RHYMES – Omni 2
Poetry was an important part of Lovecraft’s life and “weird poetry” is a growing trend today. There are many writers who dabble in the poems of the weird and still more who make it their singular creative focus. What is the history of weird poetry, and what makes a poem weird? Our panelists debate this issue and what it means to write weird poetry in the 21st century.
Panelists: Ann Schwader, Fred Phillips, Thomas Broadbent, Derrick Hussey, Charles Danny Lovecraft, Adam Bolivar
Moderator: Jason V. Brock


Sunday – 2:30-3:45pm
LOVECRAFT AS SCI-FI WRITER – Garden Room, Biltmore 2nd Floor
Often, Lovecraft is described as being the innovator of weird science fiction because of his use of science in his stories. How does Lovecraft compare to other science fiction writers? What impact, if any, has Lovecraft had on the science fiction genre?
Panelists: Jason V. Brock, Leslie Klinger, Robert M. Price, Ann K Schwader, William F. Nolan
Moderator: Brian Callahan


There’s still time to join the Providence Pilgrimage, too. I’m told that single-day tickets and general passes are still available, here.


ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
Emperors of Dreams: Some Notes on Weird PoetryEmperors of Dreams: Some Notes on Weird Poetry by S.T. Joshi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


[Disclaimer: I have a small mention in this book. I won’t be discussing it in this review.]

This slim collection of essays on six major weird poets – George Sterling, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Samuel Loveman, Donald Wandrei, & Frank Belknap Long – reprints five of those essays from previous collections edited by Joshi. In addition, there is a very useful introduction (a brief summary of weird poetry & poets leading up to the modern era), and a final chapter entitled “Some Contemporaries.” Since the book itself came out in 2008, this chapter is slightly dated, though notable for including mention of both American & Australian poets. Special mention is also given to Californian weird poets past & present.

The essays themselves vary widely in scope, although Joshi’s personal approach to literary criticism prevails throughout. Generous samples of each subject’s work are provided, along with endnotes. Those seeking an accessible yet scholarly overview of these six poets won’t be disappointed, though the book may be somewhat difficult to find.




View all my reviews
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
Hippocampus Press has released the final cover image for my forthcoming Lovecraftian fiction collection, Dark Equinox! As promised, here’s the reveal:

Dark Equinox Final Version small jpg namefix (557x800).jpg


The book will be available from Amazon in mid-August -- but preorders placed through the Hippocampus Press website ship in July.

A combo pack discount (for Dark Equinox & Twisted In Dream, my most recent dark poetry collection) is still available. Find all the details here.

And if you’re joining the pilgrimage in August, I’ll be at NecronomiCon Providence August 20-23. More details on that when my panels & reading(s) are finalized, but the current schedule is already up here.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
The 2015 Rhysling AnthologyThe 2015 Rhysling Anthology by Rich Ristow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



[Full disclosure: I have a poem in this anthology. I won’t be discussing it here.]

This year’s Rhysling Anthology (which serves as an awards voting tool for members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association) seems particularly strong. Offering nearly 160 pp. of speculative poetry in short (under 50 lines) and long (50 lines & over) form categories, it represents a good sampling of current styles, themes, and trends in this genre.

I found less emphasis on fairy tales and myths this year, and more concern with various sciences. A fair percentage of the poems read close to mainstream, though favorite SF tropes (starflight, extee colonies, aliens, etc.) are still going strong. Horror and dark fantasy – some of it Lovecraftian – also made a showing. I was interested to notice that several long-form poems this year were formal, either rhymed or in blank verse. There seemed to be an unusual number of poems inspired by other poems or authors, as well.

The anthology itself is a very nicely produced trade paperback, with full-color cover and generally good layout, though I did notice a few broken stanzas. All in all, it makes an excellent “yearbook” for lovers of spec poetry.




View all my reviews

ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
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!

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