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Sunday, October 7, 2018

31 Days of Horror: Day 7- National Day of Recognition for Dark Poetry

The Horror Writers Association has declared today a day for us we stand up and take notice of dark poetry, and I for one am excited.

Until I joined the HWA, I honestly did not pay attention to dark poetry. It's weird though, I love Poe [whose death day anniversary today is the impetus behind this day of recognition]. I have always loved Poe, even as a kid, especially his poetry. Heck, my favorite book growing up was Where the Sidewalk Ends; that is dark and twisted book of poetry if ever there was one. [I still love it by the way.]

Then why had I stopped paying attention to dark poetry? I'm not sure. But, this past year I fixed that. I began by reading the poetry of HWA Life Time Achievement Award winner and amazing writer of speculative poetry, Linda Addison

I also picked up a copy of Stephanie M. Wytovich's Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare while at StokerCon last year. I had read her debut novel, The Eighth, and was thoroughly impressed by her lyrical use of language despite the horror she was conveying. Someone suggested I try this collection, her newest at the time, so I bought a copy from Raw Dog Screaming Press [the best press for dark poetry, hands down]. I left it by my bedside and read it over a couple of weeks, and well, I think I found my love for dark poetry again.


So today, and as we begin a new week with our patrons during this, the scariest of months, let's remember poetry, especially dark poetry. It is a format many of us loved and embraced as kids, but for some reason, many of us leave it behind as we grow up. 

I am glad I rediscovered my love of dark poetry. See below for how you can help your patrons discover theirs. Might I suggest starting with Wytovich. She will be appearing at Librarians' Day at StokerCon 2019. Maybe you want to come hear her talk about dark poetry for yourself.

Below is the official press release from the HWA about the day.

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Dark Poetry Emerges From the Shadows With National Day of Recognition
The Horror Writers Association Has Established a National Day of Recognition for Dark Poetry

Atlanta, GA (10/1/2018) – Nearly 170 years after renowned author of dark poetry Edgar Allen Poe drew his final breath, a National Day of Recognition has been created to celebrate his legacy. The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is proud to declare October 7, the day Edgar Allan Poe died, National Dark Poetry Day.

National Dark Poetry Day is the brainchild of HWA Poetry Showcase founder Peter Adam Salomon. A Bram Stoker Award®-nominated novelist and author of three poetry collections, his work has appeared in numerous anthologies and has been performed by The Radiophonic Workshop on BBC Radio 6.

“Dark poetry has existed for centuries,” said Peter Adam Salomon. “One of the oldest surviving works of literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates to the 18th century BCE. Poetry doesn’t get much darker than that. It’s been almost four thousand years since the time of Gilgamesh, but a vibrant, vicious thread of darkness has haunted poetry ever since. And celebrating that thread is the purpose of National Dark Poetry Day. In dark poetry we share in the ancient knowledge that the darkest of poetry shines a light on the greatest truth.”

"HWA has just released the fifth volume of its acclaimed Poetry Showcase series, so we are obviously and proudly committed to supporting dark poetry," said HWA President Lisa Morton. "We hope readers everywhere will join us in celebrating this beautiful art form on October 7th."

National Dark Poetry Day is not just a day for re-reading “The Raven”, but a time to discover all those who have followed in the footsteps of Gilgamesh and Edgar Allan Poe. It is a day to celebrate the voices that bring poetry out of the darkness and into the light.

About the Horror Writers Association
THE HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION (HWA) is an international nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. Today—with over 1,250 members in countries all across the globe—it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life. Learn more about our mission at http://horror.org


HWA Poetry Showcase Volume V is now available at Amazon and Kobo in both print and ebook. 

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