I contributed my poem, Medusa's Mirror, to appear on the Hooked On Poetry project for National Poetry Month, curated by Erin Al-Mehairi, and hosted on Kendall Reviews. You can read my poem and check out other poets here.
"A couple of days ago I announced in an essay the start of my HOOKED ON POETRY project, in celebration of National Poetry Month. It was posted both on my site Oh, for the Hook of a Book! and here at Kendall Reviews. KR is partnering with me to host and share pieces I’ve accepted and curated (thank you Gavin!). If you missed it, you can find it HERE.
This project will carry throughout May and that will allow time for pieces in support of Mental Health Awareness Month as well. Please join us in sharing things on social media with the hashtag #HookedonPoetry. There will be outstanding reprint poems from collections, stellar original poetry, reviews and articles on poetry, and more coming everyone’s way now and throughout May.
Today, I welcome established dark poetress Ashley Dioses. With many credits to her name, Ashley also had a poem included on Ellen Datlow’s full recommended Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven list and was also a nominee for the 2019 Pushcart Prize.
Today, on Walpurgis Eve, I would've had some exciting news to share but instead, I'm apologizing. Today was the second release date for The Withering. I'm sad to say that it will not be released today nor on any foreseeable day in the near future. I'm apologizing to those of you, readers, who have been waiting for this collection, whether you pledged on the Kickstarter or have just been waiting for its release.
The Withering was originally intended to be released in late September last year in time for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival. It was delayed due to reasons stated on this blog entry by the publisher. After returning from their hiatus, I agreed to still stay on. Why? Because The Withering was an Achievement. You could pledge for my collection and some did. I felt obligated to stay, for my readers who paid to hit that goal. But it has been months since I've personally heard from the publisher and now, my release date has come and there is nothing to present.
I hope to hear from the publisher soon. I wish him all the luck in the world and hope that a light will shine on his darkest moments.
Last weekend I, unfortunately, came down with a cold (yes, just a cold!) and still have it, so our attendance at the festival was much shorter than we would've liked. We signed at 11 am with Scott Woodard and Pete Atkins, among others. Kyle and I are scheduled to sign again next year as well, in case you didn't catch us this time.
It was not the same without Dennis Etchison there. I met him for the first time at this festival a few years ago. We were together in Weird Fiction Review #5 by Centipede Press and I had him sign it. I told him that I was also in this and he mentioned an after-party and said that I was 'entitled' to go. That just made me die. I would only see him at cons or other gatherings infrequently but it was always a joy to hang out with him and listen to his stories and writing wisdom. I miss him terribly.
I'm always so excited to get my copy of Spectral Realms and the latest is the 12th issue, which features my sonnet V. Haematophagy. Haematophagy is the 5th sonnet in my vampire sonnet cycle titled The Countess. The first four sonnets can be found in Diary of a Sorceress. The entire sonnet cycle will be in Diary of a Vampyress.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Poems
Acrostic Sonnet for Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire / David Barker
Gray / M. F. Webb
Pilgrim in the Mist / Wade German
Proem to the Fortress Unvanquishable / Thomas Tyrrell
Ode to the Great God Pan / Carl E. Reed
Ghebulax / Maxwell I. Gold
The Crimson Knight / Scott J. Couturier
Haematophagy / Ashley Dioses
Not All of Them Are Ghosts / Darrell Schweitzer
Poe, on the Morning After / Don Webb
Homage to Creepy / Manuel Pérez-Campos
Xipe Totec / Deborah L. Davitt
Necronomicon / Josh Maybrook
Wretched Raft / Kieran Dacey Boylan
Satanic Sonata / Manuel Arenas
Time’s Vulture / Leigh Blackmore
Urban Renewal / Mike Allen
Graveside Ghost / Mary Krawczak Wilson
No One Is Safe / Benjamin Blake
Minoan Messages / Frank Coffman
Madhouse Getaway / Manuel Pérez-Campos
Planet Fetish / Chad Hensley
Jack in Xanadu / Adam Bolivar
Genesis / Holly Day
I Want to Taste October / Ross Balcom
A Tasty Treat / Adele Gardner
Beyond the Fields / Andrew J. Wilson
The Tears of Cerberus / Wade German
A Witch in the House / Oliver Smith
The Psychopomp / Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer
The Plague Queen’s Song / Nicole Cushing
I’ll Return in Late October / K. A. Opperman
The Philosophy & Aesthetics of Horror / Carl E. Reed
Black Wings Return / Michael D. Miller
Slow the Night Grows Darker / David Sammons
The Wild Hunt / Chelsea Arrington
Lines Written in a Providence Churchyard / David Barker
The God of the Winds / Christina Sng
Singularity / Curtis M. Lawson
Dream Hackers / Maxwell I. Gold
The Bedlam Philharmonic / Steven Withrow
The House (A Conduit) / Mack W. Mani
The Pack / Scott J. Couturier
Kiss of Life / Manuel Arenas
The Last Golem / Allan Rozinski
A Summoning of Demons / Michelle Jeffrey
Astral Parasites / Manuel Pérez-Campos
The Silent Silver Sea / Leigh Blackmore
Homer Before the Trojan Court / Darrell Schweitzer
The Witch’s Cat / Deborah L. Davitt
In Arcadia / Josh Maybrook
My Loveliest Manticore; or, The Queen of the Lamiae / Wade German
The Conjuring / Frank Coffman
Wildfires / Christina Sng
Now and Forever / Kieran Dacey Boylan
Stela of Selos / Scott J. Couturier
Southern Gothic; or, Hillbilly Horror / Carl E. Reed
I've been depressed ever since my father died over a year ago. Writing was always something I've turned to, it is my life, but my life is out of whack. So writing, as an extension of myself, is also out of whack. I haven't written much at all in 2019 and so far this year, I've written 1 poem.
The Withering was slotted to come out in September 2019 and it didn't. It's scheduled to come out April 30th and I hope that it does. The publisher is going through his own Hell and I empathize with him. I really do.
The Withering is finished and I hoped with its publication I could relax a bit but it hasn't and I can't. I know others have waited longer and still wait for their 2nd book to come out years later but it bothers me. The rule is to send something out and then forget it as you work on something else. And that's a fine rule and it worked for me until now.
I can't write like I used to anymore. Diary of a Vampyress is close to completion in that it needs (yes, needs) about 30 more poems. 30 poems weren't as daunting then as it is now. My sweet, patient, genius Kyle has been the biggest help to me in editing my poems to perfection. He is the meter and form genius and I am not. He helps me smooth my rough corners and helps polish them up before I send them out into the world. He is also struggling to write and has taken up art, which I'm extremely proud of him for pursuing what he always wanted to do. And that means he doesn't have the time or even the mental headspace to edit my poems. And that's fine. He shouldn't have to do that forever. All things come to an end.
The Withering is done but not out. Diary of a Vampyress is close to completion but it's not complete. The poems I've not written need to be. And poems written will not be edited. Why does it matter anymore? Has my flame gone out already?
Now let's go back in time.
In the year 1999 or so, I created a character in a short story in 4th grade. With this character bloomed a story and a (few) plots and a (few) settings. This character and story and plot and setting bloomed into 2 and a half epic fantasy novels. These are the novels I was working on before Kyle came along and brought me back to poetry in 2010.
I've dusted them off with serious intent on rewriting them. Maybe this is the break I need from poetry right now.
I still have plenty of edited, finished poems that I'll be sending out into the world to hopefully find a home. I will always update this with when and where to find them. Those may be the best place to find new Ashley poetry for the time being.