Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Review: The HWA Poetry Showcase, Vol IX

The Horror Writers Associations presents their ninth annual Poetry Showcase, featuring the best in never-before-published dark verse. 


Horror Writers Association is the oldest and most respected non-profit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world. HWA’s declared mission is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of good horror and dark literature. Since 2014, HWA selects what it considers to be the “best original dark poetry from the last year” and publishes an “HWA Poetry Showcase”.

I prefer poetry - old and new - in a more classical sense in which the rhyme, meter and rhythm are present in one way or another (see, for example, Poe’s “The Raven”) so, when I saw the title, I was expected to find (more of) these elements. Even though the title speaks of poetry, the works are identified within the volume(s) as “poems” which is more appropriate.

Anyway, there are reasons for you to read the “HWA Poetry Showcase Number IX” (or number I - VIII for that matter):

If you like your literature “dark”:
- the good name of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and of its former Poetry Showcases;
- the reputation of the selection panel;
- the variety of styles and themes;
- unconventional experiences;
- emotions in many shades of gray.

If you do not usually enjoy the dark side, this is a good occasion to taste it. You will find out that in these poems, the darkness comes from within their authors, or it is forced on them, that the style or form are (apparently) free of rules, and all that matter is the message, the emotion of both author and reader.

As I enjoy the darkness as long as I keep the light within reach, I found several poems to like and some too much for me. Still, it was an interesting, sometimes daring experience.

Try it... after all, the poems should represent the “best original dark poetry from the last year”!

PS – If you need some tips about how to read the poems, go on the Horror Writers Association website where you can find some of the authors reading their poems... or just read them in your own way...


Release Date: 7th November 2022

The Horror Writers Associations presents their ninth annual Poetry Showcase, featuring the best in never-before-published dark verse. 

Edited by Angela Yuriko Smith, this year's featured poets are Stephanie M. Wytovich, Geneve Flynn, and Naomi Simone Borwein, plus dozens of poems from the talented members of the Horror Writers Association.

This volume is edited by Angela Yuriko Smith, and she worked with judges Lee Murray, and Maxwell I. Gold and Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito chose the 50 poems that make up the TOC.

This year’s featured poets are Stephanie M. Wytovich, Geneve Flynn and Naomi Simone Borwein.

The following poets have also been selected to have their work included in this year’s showcase: Mary A. Turzillo, Christina Sng, Alessandro Manzetti, Victoria Nations, K. H. Vaughan, Cassondra Windwalker, Jacqueline West, Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, Lucy A. Snyder, Colleen Anderson, E. F. Schraeder, Sara Tantlinger, Ann K. Schwader, Corinne Hughes, Monica S. Kuebler, Janine Cross, Kathryn Ptacek, Holly Lyn Walrath, Gary Robbe, Marge Simon, Stephanie Ellis, R. Leigh Hennig, Austin Gragg, M. Lopes da Silva, Denise Dumars, Gordon Linzner, Saytchyn Maddux-Creech, Ross E. Lockhart, Teel James Glenn, Bruce Boston, John Claude Smith, Roni Stinger, Dan B. Fierce, Madison McSweeney, Steven Clapp, Rook Riley, Timothy P. Flynn, Dianthe West, Lori R. Lopez, Terrie Leigh Relf, Lisa Becker, Donna K. Fitch, Ai Jiang, J.E. Erickson, and Gerri Leen.

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