Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category
And it’s not really new either, only missing but now restored as a Valentine’s Day extra. VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) is a book of poetry about vampires and things vampiric, sexy, deadly, and by moi. This is the White Cat edition which should eventually be updated, with new cover, etc., but the upgrade has been taking some time and no need to not buy the book now if one wishes. In print it only costs $7.00 (plus probably postage, but still a good price for a small love token for that special person) and even less in a PDF version. Just click its picture in the center column.
It isn’t listed on Amazon either in this edition, but probably will be when the new one comes out, although I believe print copies of this one can also be purchased through Alban Lake (for which one can press here).
Or, on this page with its link to White Cat Publishing (plus option for PDF), scroll down the center column, through books and chapbooks, to find an all-new category for Poetry. And there it will be!
Back for 2017, this afternoon saw the new year’s first “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic” (see November 28, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Monroe County Convention Center. Featured poets this time were Lisa Low, in her final year in the MFA program at Indiana University, whose reading covered such subjects as grocery stores, ghosts, and gold, ending with a group of poems from a work in progress about a girl named Ruby; and Stephen Hopkins, “born in Texas but raised in the Midwest, [and] moved all over Ohio, often,” an IU PhD candidate who read works from his recent chapbook HYMNS OF PERPETUAL MOTION. This was followed by snacks and an open mike session in which I was last of six participants, with five short, relatively light poems about vampires, “The Vampire’s Reflection,” “An Unsuitable Kiss for the New Year,” “Something New,” “Nothing Better,” and “The Vampiress’s Embarrassment.”
Also announced was a new Writers Guild “Second Thursdays” evening series to be held each month at Bloomington’s Players Pub, beginning February 9. While programs will vary, the premiere offering will highlight prose readings, including a short tale by me from THE TEARS OF ISIS, “River Red,” set in the same universe as my upcoming TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.
Yes, a raise of the glass to Edgar Allan Poe, “who started it all,” January 19 1809 – October 7 1849 — and see, as well, my interview by Weldon Burge linked in the post just below, start-ing quite by coincidence with a quotation from Poe. Go ahead, take a quick look — I’ll wait! Okay, and now to the business of . . . well, actually late yesterday, but posted today.
Wednesday afternoon’s email brought, from Bards and Sages Publishing’s Julie Ann Dawson: When we launched THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES last August, we knew it was a bit of an experiment. We really didn’t know how readers would respond to the project. I’m pleased to say that the response has been wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that three of the stories placed very well in this year’s Preditors & Editors Reader Poll.
Chamber Music By Peter A. Balaskas earned 2nd place in the non-genre short story category
Raising Mary: Frankenstein by Ace Antonio Hall earned 5th place in the horror short story category
By Force and Against the King’s Peace by James Dorr earned 11th place in the fantasy and sci-fi short story category
But the email goes on to say [t]he one question I keep getting asked, however, is “When will the print be available?” A great many of our readers still prefer print (I know, shocking!). Of course, individually, each story is too short to justify publishing as a single book. But as an anthology, it would be perfect.
Which is why I would like to invite each of you to participate in THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES, Volume I. This will anthologize all of the stories published in the first year of the project. We would love to bring your stories to print and, potentially, audio formats. . . .
Then follow some details, plus an attached agreement which went in the mail today with my okay. And, let’s not forget the neat Preditors and Editors news, not just for me but a huge shout out for THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES itself! This, we may remember (see, e.g., November 18, 2, October 3 2016, et al.), is a continuing series of electronic chapbooks for stories from 5,000 to 20,000 words long, both new and reprints (“By Force and Against the King’s Peace” is the latter, originally published in the December 1999 ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE), awkwardly long for some electronic markets but too short for novels. A little more money would change hands too for the print anthology, which is always a sweetener for the writers, and since, judging from the Preditors and Editors standings, the stories themselves seem to be top drawer, some at least of them, it should be a good deal for readers as well.
Also, for another quick “The Writing Life” extra, here’s a note from A Murder of Storytellers on my story-poem “Tit for Tat.” James, Wanted to let you know that I looked over this piece and saw no need for editing. So, unless you’ve got a burning desire to fix something, it’s good to go. What it’s going to is their upcoming THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS (see January 16). And an editor’s pass with no changes at all is always good news for a writer to receive.
One final note for 2016, DISTURBED DIGEST (see December 6) arrived New Year’s Eve with my poem “Zombie Trouble?” in it. Also Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing has announced a special sale through Saturday, January 7, via DriveThruFiction for their New Year’s Eve-themed anthology, YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (cf. March 19, et al.), with my lead-off story “Appointment in Time.” The sale, which reduces the price from $4.99 to $2.99, is only available on DriveThruFiction and must be reached through a special, one-week-only link, for which press here.
. . . because poems work on rhythms and sounds, the same as music, even without having tunes to accompany them. One hint, though, when reading poetry, try reading it out loud. Or at least (if, say, there are people around you and you don’t like being stared at) pronounce the words under your breath, the way you’re taught not to read in school. Because the point of poetry is not just what it says, but the way it says it.
So there’s rap music, too. And poetry slams. And, when I was much younger, poets sometimes read poems with jazz in the background. A muted piano, stand-up bass, a drummer for accents with cymbals and brush, an alto sax, maybe, while the poet recited the words over it, not as lyrics, but for their own sake, the musicians having the job to make sure their own sounds worked with them.
So there! (said I) to answer the rhetorical question, if you like music why should you like poetry too? Of course I go on with it a little, and even throw in an example or two, and that was the essay, “It Begins With the Sound,” that we might recall was one of those featured in this Fall’s issue of ILLUMEN (see November 5, October 8), along with another by fellow poet and poetry essayist Marge Simon. But Ms. Simon is also editor of the “Blood and Spades: Poets of the Dark” column in the HWA NEWSLETTER and, as it happens, asked for reprint rights for the January 2017 issue (cf. November 12) to spread the good word to the horror writers. And so, today, for pre-New Years Eve readers, the January NEWSLETTER has just come out.
Of course there’s a catch. To read it there you have to be a member of the Horror Writers Association yourself. It is, incidentally, at least the third poetry essay I’ve had published in “Blood and Spades” (I think actually the fourth, the first being one on Edgar Allan Poe many, many years back, but pretty well lost in the dust of history) and quotes in part from one by me in June 2010, “Edgar Allan, Allen Ginsberg, and All that Jazz,” which is noted in the current issue too. (Then, for completists, there is one yet more recent, “Vamps: The Beginning,” that appeared in January 2012. Both this and the 2010 one, incidentally, can also be read by clicking POETRY (ESSAYS) in the PAGES column on the far right.)
However, for those who aren’t members of HWA, “It Begins With the Sound” can also still be read in its ILLUMEN version, which can be purchased by pressing here.
MEET CUTE (cf. November 23), the flash fiction anthology of unexpected, eccentric, or just unusual meetings of couples, has had a few changes in scope, according to Editor Kara Landhuis. An immediate one is a change in pre-publication funding from Kickstarter to Indiegogo, deemed a better fit for a smaller publication’s actual needs. For other news, publication is tentatively planned for January for distribution in February; the funding project itself will close December 31.
As Ms. Landhuis explains, MEET CUTE was born out of a love for several things, most notably: Storytelling and connection. I wanted to create a book that celebrates human connection, and I thought there was no better way than to invite writers and illustrators to collaborate. MEET CUTE will include around 20 short stories (very short — fewer than 1000 words each) written by writers from around the world. There will also be 10-15 black and white illustrations that enrich the stories. My own entry in this is “Butterfly,” a saga of forests and fairytales — or was that insects and axes? To find out more, one will just have to buy the book, or for an inside track, check out the Indygogo crowdfunder by clicking here.
In other action, The Bloomington Writers Guild’s December business meeting and end-of-year party was Saturday afternoon. As in previous years, it ended with an open reading for about a dozen participants, my contribution (in lieu of a story which I suggested I’d save for February’s First Sunday Prose, as being perhaps a bit long for this session) was three Santa Claus poems, posing the question — especially in the case of the first two, which also appear in my collection VAMPS — do we really need Krampus?
It seemed an interesting fit even if, technically, too long. The guidelines did say poetry was to be no more than 100 lines, while my “Dreaming Saturn” was more like 170. It was also a reprint, but that would be okay, having originally been published in White Wolf’s 1994 anthology DARK DESTINY. And the venue was fascinating:
the ancient Roman festival of Saturn in December, which was a period of general merrymaking and was the predecessor of Christmas.
an occasion of wild revelry.
noun: saturnalia; plural noun: saturnalias
A time of revelry and reversal, Saturnalia represents the breakdown of what has been deemed the natural order. HYPERION AND THEIA’s inaugural volume wants stories and poetry that runs the gamut of genres and turns expectations on their heads. Submit a fantastical murder-mystery set in the biggest carnival in Atlantis. Wow us with a sweeping romance in space where gods and goddesses serve their creations after a bloody war. Deadline January 31st, 2017 11:59 EST.
So, caution to the wind and all that, Saturday, December 3 I sent “Dreaming Saturn” in, apologizing for the length but hoping it still could be considered. Today, six days later, came the reply: I would be happy to include your poem in the upcoming anthology! I think it would make a great opening. Please give me a few weeks to get back to you so I can close out submissions. I would need your PayPal address and preferred digital format (ePub/mobi/PDF) in the mean time. I’ll come back with a sample contract for you to review.
And there we are, not just in the show but possibly even the opening act! For which, a merry pre-holiday to HYPERION AND THEIA Editor Olivia, and the moral: once in a while it’s worth taking a chance.
Another one published, this one LUPINE LUNES: HORROR POEMS & SHORT STORIES from Popcorn Press, as announced by Editor Lester Smith. To give Amazon’s take on it, Welcome to Popcorn Press’s eighth annual celebration of horror writing, this year featuring the werewolf in a collection of stories and poems, particularly that crescent-shaped smaller sibling of the haiku — the lune. Each year, on October 1, we host an open call for horror-themed poems and stories. By October 31, we have a finished document published in ebook form, with a print version close on its heels. What you hold in your hands is the result of that creative marathon. Inside you will find werewolves galore, along with a handful of other shapechangers and harbingers of transformation. Read it by the light of a full moon, if you dare, or perhaps by candlelight. Read it aloud to family and friends — there is safety in numbers when the werewolf prowls!
My own pup in this pack is a single poem, albeit longer than lune or haiku, “Beware of the Dog” (see November 21, October 29), a working-class take on exactly how disruptive a werewolf might be on a Saturday night in a factory town. Delve within at your own risk! “Beware of the Dog” was originally published in GRIEVOUS ANGEL for September 11 2014.
This, a bit of news from late Monday via Facebook, the December issue of Alban Lake Publishing’s DISTURBED DIGEST is ready for purchase. Also included, the table of contents with, natch, one from me, this time a poem about zombies and how the undead can only be eradicated by hiring a competent pest control service, thus asking the question “Zombie Trouble?” DISTURBED DIGEST is a companion magazine to Alban Lake’s BLOODBOND (cf. November 7) which came out last month with my vampire poem, “Her First Time,” bought in the same bundle as “Zombie Trouble?” (see June 22).
More on DISTURBED DIGEST, plus purchasing info can be found here; a sneak peek at the contents directly below:
Alone in the Cataloochee Valley by Lee Clark Zumpe
The Closet by James A. Miller
Two Drops of Blood by Sandy DeLuca
I’ll Always Hear You by Kelly McCrady
Three Coins by Lorraine Pinelli Brown
Remote by Kendall Evans
The Holy Computer by Glen R. Stripling
Ghosts in the Gaslight by Andrew Knighton
Backwater Saints by Elise Forier Edie
The Chopping Block by Matthew Wilson
Zombie Trouble? By James S. Dorr
Fly Movie Rationalization by Herb Kauderer
Sounds on a Lover’s Night by Guy Belleranti
Extremist by Herb Kauderer
Cosmic Blues by Russ Paladin
Illustrations by Sandy DeLuca
It Happens When You’re Dead
Two Drops of Blood