King Rat Included in Bleed Cancer Antho; Vampire Essay on Horror Writers Association Poetry Webpage

The call went out last January from Lori Michelle for submissions to an anthology to benefit the Children’s Cancer Society.  “I need stories; good stories.  Not just good stories, but great stories to help this anthology sell and make the profits to help those kids in need.  I am looking for allegorical horror stories where the monster represents cancer.  And while this is a book to help children, the stories do not need to be young adult.”  The deadline wasImage to be June 30, “but if you could let me know if you are willing to participate ASAP, I would appreciate it.”  Other particulars were that there’d be no pay except for a copy and if one was willing to let the book’s cost be a donation to the fund as well, that would be even better.  Reprints would be allowed. . . .

As it happened I had a story, a favorite of mine titled “King Rat” but which didn’t fit into THE TEARS OF ISIS (originally published in GOTHIC.NET in March 2002, it was reprinted in my DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET collection from Dark Regions Press in 2007 — cf. its cover portrait in the center column), but how far could one go with allegory?  Do economic systems count?  And so — nothing ventured, nothing gained! — I sent it in, explaining in part:  “’King Rat’ is a story that is at heart about the ills brought about by an increasingly unbalanced and uncontrollable world economic system.  We speak of the ‘body politic’ — by which we sometimes may well mean the ‘body economic’ — and the problems we see could be analogous to a cancer affecting the human body.  Still, it is a political story. . . .*”

And so, today, the word came back — politics (or at least economics, its older, duller brother) is okay!  “Thank you for your submission to our children’s cancer anthology, BLEED.  It is so wonderful to know that so many people are willing to help donate to such a worthwhile cause.  We got an outpouring of submissions and it was very difficult to choose the stories that were to make the final table of contents.  But congratulations, your story “King Rat” was chosen to be in this fine collection.”  BLEED will come out under the Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing imprint in, presumably, the not too distant future, with details to follow.

And there you have it.

In other news, this arriving late last night from Max Booth III, Sandy DeLuca, and others:  “For the July segment of the HWA’s Horror Poetry Newsletter, we are honored to feature excellent poems from Keith Deininger, JG Faherty and Vincenzo Bilof.  James Dorr was also kind enough to let us use an old essay of his on vampires and poetry.  Thanks, everyone!”  This is a new HWA project beginning, I think, just last month, and I’m honored to be included so soon.  The essay in question is “Vamps:  The Beginning” (cf. January 1 2012), originally published in Marge Simon’s “Blood  & Spades” column in the HWA NEWSLETTER concerning my 2011 poetry collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  You had to be a member of the Horror Writers Association to read it though, so if you aren’t — or weren’t at that time — here’s a chance to read it now by pressing here.  Or even better, to read some good poetry by the three other poets noted above!

As for VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), it’s available to all who wish to buy it — just click on its center-column portrait (about two below the one for DARKER LOVES).


*And I might add here, initially published ten years before the Occupy Wall Street, et al., movement came about 😉 .


  1. And an exceptionally good Poetry Awareness Page it is, with your addition and the others’–thank you for allowing the HWA to reprint your column from our NL, Jim!

  2. Marge, thanks. This HWA Poetry e-Page is a new feature (just starting in June, I believe?) and I’m proud that you and Denise and Max, et al., chose me to be a part of it in one of its first issues! I’m looking forward to future monthly editions.

  3. Jim, it’s not Denise, it’s Sandy DeLuca. Denise isn’t volunteering to help with this project. 🙂

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