Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Yearly Recap

This was an exciting year writing-wise for me! 

My debut horror and dark fantasy poetry collection, Diary of a Sorceress, came out far sooner than expected,

I made not only my first story sale but my first TWO story sales in the same month,

(Rat in the Rabbit Cage appears in Weirdbook Annual #1: Witches by Wildside Press)

(The Goblin of Tara appears in the Ravenwood Halloween Special by Electric Pentacle Press)

I met someone I'm a fan of,

(Bruce Campbell)

I had an amazing and epic time at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival where Diary of a Sorceress debuted, where I did a few readings as well a signings,

I signed sheets for Black Wings VI edited by S. T. Joshi by PS Publishing,

I met internet friends in real life for the first time,

(SM Wright and Thomas Broadbent)

I went on a pumpkin growing endeavor that provided one pumpkin that lived shortly then rotted,

I created a Patreon that one person cares about (Thank you!  You know who you are.), I had a blast at StokerCon on the Queen Mary, where I participated on a badass poetry panel (also where I was confused as being a part of the junior prom that was also being held on board),

and I had an extremely successful year getting published.  This year I sold 37 poems, 2 short stories, one article, and one poetry collection.  I was also interviewed on my poetry and collection 4 times.  

I hope next year is an equally productive and fun year.

Friday, December 8, 2017


I'm still trudging along. 

Current Progress-

The Withering- 51 poems
Diary of a Vampyress- 24 poems
Project 3- 14 poems
Project 4- 24 poems

I had planned Project 4 to be, well, my fourth project/collection.  I just took a look at it today and realized it had more poems in it than I thought.  I'm thinking that maybe it should be bumped up to number 3's slot.  We'll see.  I'm trying not to focus too much on 3 and 4 right now.

Altogether, that's over 100 poems; definitely enough for a collection on it's own, but that would be a hodge podge mess.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Time of the Sorceress — An Interview with Ashley Dioses by David E. Cowen

The Time of the Sorceress
Weird. Most dictionaries will include in its definitions of this word the phrase “suggesting something supernatural; uncanny.” H.P. Lovecraft, an imperfect human who strove to perfect his craft, referred to his work as “Weird Fiction” S.T. Joshi’s classic “The Weird Tale” (University of Texas Press 1990) states in the preface that the Weird Tale “does not exist as a genre but as a consequence of a world view.” The Weird Tale has been a stable of horror for many years. Ms. Dioses has emerged as a rising star in a subset of this body of work: Weird Poetry. Ms. Dioses is a frequent contributor to Spectral Realms (Hippocampus Press) a journal edited by S.T. Joshi and devoted to this subgenre. It is perhaps no coincidence that Hippocampus Press is the proud publisher of Ms. Dioses first volume of weird poetry Diary of a Sorceress.

Highly stylistic, the poems send the reader back to more traditional poems using rhyme, meter and mythical allusions. This volume is not an imitation of Poe as the images and work draw from more ancient muses. Ms. Dioses book has won high praise from many circles and is sure to be remembered long after the current cycle of hopefuls for the Stoker award.

Q: Let’s start off with the easy questions. Even the cover notes state clearly that your work falls under the classification of “contemporary Weird Poetry.” Educate the reader what this is and the influences you have drawn upon to create this volume.

A:  Weird contains aspects of the supernatural with an emphasis on atmosphere.  My poems are rich with atmosphere and contain many supernatural and fantastical themes.  My strongest influences come from Poe, Clark Ashton Smith, H. P. Lovecraft, and David Park Barnitz.

Q: All of the poems use rhyme heavily which is a more traditional form and a trademark of weird poetry. Some use meter and some do not. Is this driven by the nature of the poem, your style and preferences or some other ambition?

A:  All of them, actually, use meter and they tend to vary from the common iambic pentameter to iambic hexameter, also known as Alexandrines, and others, depending on the mood of the poem.  I find that certain themes call for certain meters and I follow what my instincts tell me to use.

Q: I’ve seen a strain of those adhering to Weird Poetry who have absolute disdain for contemporary free verse; even calling it fake poetry.  Is Weird Poetry the antithesis of free verse? Why do you choose this over more contemporary forms of writing? Is it akin to a seamstress who prefers hand stitching to a machine? The art of crafting the cloth being its own reward?

A: I think that when it comes to poetry, it’s not necessarily the form of poetry being written that makes it Weird, but the themes in the poem itself. Wade German and Ann K. Schwader, for instance, are amazing contemporary Weird poets and they use free verse.  The flow of formal verse is more musical to me and it fits my style of writing.  Writing free verse is just not to my taste and therefore, I don’t write it.

Q: Your poetry draws upon a number of archetypes: wizards, the god Pan, zombie-like Valkyries, warlocks, goblins, and other fantastical creatures. I sense a more fantasy realm than horror much different from the works of Lovecraft (with his penguin eating old gods and tentacle faced monsters).  Many of the poems hint of love and lost love as well. I am taken to the works of a number of fantasy writers reading your poems. So I see a bridging of fantasy and the Weird Tale with your poems. Do you consider your work true horror or a hybrid bringing fantasy, the Weird Tale and horror into a merged road?

A: Fantasy was always my first love and blending it with my second love, horror, seems to be what Weird is all about. A lot of Weird fiction and poetry is supernatural and have fantasy elements and, though I may not write about giant albino penguins (though what an awesome idea that was!), I like to blend my horror with fantasy and/or the supernatural. 

Q: Have to ask. Several poems are dedicated to a K. A. O.” even making a reference to a “Crimson Tome” related to this person. Who is this mysterious person and how has he or she influenced your work.

A: Oh my, where to begin? K. A. O. is Kyle Opperman, or known on social media as K. A. Opperman and he is my beloved of five years.  We met online.  Kyle was a poetry editor for a now defunct zine called Dark River Press and I had just gotten published, for the first time, at The Horror Zine.  He read my work, emailed me, and invited me to submit for Dark River Press.

Before Kyle, I had never heard of Weird fiction or Weird poetry.  I never heard of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert W. Chambers, M. R. James, and others before knowing Kyle.  I think it’s safe to say that my work would be entirely different without him.  He also still remains my poetry editor.  Every poem I write goes through him before I submit them anywhere.

Q: What’s next up for you?

A: I have two projects I’m currently working on. The first is a collection of juvenilia horror poems called, The Withering.  It will contain about 50 poems from my pre-teen and teenage years.

My second project is my next poetry collection called, Diary of a Vampyress.  Unlike Diary of a Sorceress, which has sections divided by themes (fantasy, nature, romance/erotica, horror), Diary of a Vampyress is divided by subject, as this collection will be focused more on Gothic and supernatural horror.  Diary of a Vampyress will loosely follow the story of Nadia, who makes her appearance in Diary of a Sorceress, in the first 4 sonnets of her sonnet cycle.

A Queen in Hell

To Edgar Allan Poe

Upon a moonlit eve, we strolled along the shores
Of a still lake, all atrament save for the bright,
Rich, hoary moon-glow, which threw wide dark, eldritch doors
Into a hell of reeking hells that stole her light.

My love, my gorgeous love, how could you abandon me?
What haunting daemons lured you to your early grave?
How could you not perceive that you were always free?
Why, why was it not you, my love, that I could save?

The years have passed and sadly I stand so alone
Beside you, by your grave, yet in my heart you dwell.
Your kinsmen knew of your great beauty, and it’s known
That we lament so deeply for a queen in Hell.

On Amaranthine Lips

My purple font of his desire
Invites the tongue of my vampire.
He tastes the nectar sweet therein,
And drinks his fill of darkest sin.
His kiss on amaranthine lips
Delivers bliss down to my hips.
Forever his caress is cold,
Yet how I itch for him to hold
Me in his arms, for every star
Above to see us from afar.

Lover’s Witch

The Sun’s gold gleams beneath her skin,
And gives its warmth with every touch.
Her eyes are gems, the Moon’s blue twins,
Which sparkle, barely hinting much.

A promise of sweet Heaven’s kiss
Forever lures me to her hold.
Her gaze upon me is pure bliss,
And that was how my soul was sold.

Her love, a spell, is wound around
My soul, like lingering perfumes
That emanate from floral crowns
Of belladonna all abloom.

She is the star and its fierce fire,
The Moon and its deep darkest phase,
The red, red rose of the great briar,
The center garden in the maze.

When those in favor fall from grace,
Her skin sears with Hell’s hottest flame.
Her eyes grow dark with new Moon’s face,
And lips give way to fangs’ quick aim.

I am her lover; she, my witch.
She, my desire, for only I
Can coax the Moon back from the pitch,
And the fine gold from flame’s last cry.


In dark cathedrals and woodlands mist-laden,
A horror lurks in realms beyond, unseen.
Few fae are pretty and appear to maidens—
Most of their kind are cruel, and ugly green.

A door can lead to their true territory—
The Otherworld, where anyone might stray.
It changes Paradise to Purgatory,
And all cold shadows pave, for you, the way.


Elysian daemon worship is more than it seems,
For many fiends reside in the deep haunted reaches
Of our vast psyche. Shun them, and they escape through dreams.
Approach them with respect; wait what the daemon teaches. . . .


Ashley Dioses is a writer of dark fiction and poetry from southern alifornia. Her debut collection of dark traditional poetry, Diary of a Sorceress, was released this year from Hippocampus Press.  Her poetry has appeared in Weird Fiction Review #5, #7, and #8 (Centipede Press, 2014, 2016-17), Skelo Issues 1-3 (Skelos Press, 2016-17), Weirdbook #31-34 (Wildside Press, 2015-17), Black Wings VI: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror (PS Publishing, 2017) and others.  Her poem “Carathis,” published in Spectral Realms 1, appeared in Ellen Datlow’s full recommended Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven list. She has also appeared in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase 2016 for her poem “Ghoul Mistress.”  She is an Active member in the HWA and a member of the SFPA.  She blogs at fiendlover.blogspot.com.

Need a Poetry Christmas List?

HWA poets have amazing new volumes of poetry available. Here are some but certainly not all of the newest volumes currently circulating:

Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press 2017) by Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo. Poems that bring feminism to mass murder chronicling female mass murders over the centuries.  (I assisted editing this so I get to add a short blurb on it)

Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (  ) by Robert Frazier and Bruce Boston.

PseudoPsalms: Sodom (Bizarro Pulp Press – JournalStone 2017) by Peter Adam Solomon.

No Mercy: Dark Poems (Crystal Lake Publishing 2017) by Alessandro Manzetti.

Escape Claws (CreateSpace 2017) by Angela Yuriko Smith.

Meanderings of a Dark and Lonely Cycle Path (er … um … Psychopath) (Amazon Digital Services LLC 2017) Randy D. Rubin’s third dark poetry collection.

The Lay of Old Hex (Hippocampus Press 2017) by Adam Bolivar. Another contribution to Weird Poetry.

A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press 2017) by Cristina Sng.

When the Night Owl Screams (MoonDream Press 2017) by Michael Hansen.

Til Death: Marriage Poems (Raw Dog Screaming Press 2017) by Janice Leach and James Frederick Leach.

Love for Slaughter (Strangehouse Books 2017) by Sara Tantlinger.

The Cabin Sessions (Hellbound Books 2017) by Isobel Blackthorn.

and of course

HWA Poetry Showcase Volume IV (HWA, D. Cowen Editor, 2017)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Infernal Ink Magazine Copy

I have finally received my copy of Infernal Link Magazine.  My reprint, Maenads, appears in this issue.

Maenads is one of the 10 poems that have a black and white illustration in Diary of a Sorceress.

Table of Contents

Notes From the Editor by Hydra M. Star
Our Bond Complete by Mark A. Mihalko
Howling in the Night by G. Large
Calender Witches and Steel Interview with Paul Sherman
Short Memoir of an Ed Gein Disciple by Steven Allen Porter
Thought's In Bed with Pain by Patrick Winters
Act of the Loathsome Intimacy by Norbert Gora
The Chocolate Box by Holly Flynn
Defrosting by Robert Beveridge
The Predator by Timothy C. Hobbs
There is No Sin by John Siney
Valium by Jessica Williams
A Fetishistic Feast of Indulgence by Rick Powell
Horny by Evelyn Eve
Tormentor by TheByStander
Maenads by Ashley Dioses
The Author Bordello with Alder Strauss

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review of The Rat in the Rabbit Cage

Tangent reviews Weirdbook Annual #1: Witches by Wildside Press, edited by Douglas Draa and gives a brief review of every fiction piece in the anthology.  Unfortunately Tangent never reviews poetry, so this is the first time they have reviewed my work.

“The Rat in the Rabbit Cage” by Ashley Dioses

"Emily is visiting her distraught sister, Theodora, in this short horror story. After accepting a strange white rat from her equally strange neighbor, Theodora’s pets are disappearing. Color changes in the rat convince Theodora that it’s eating each pet. The rat acquires a patch of fur the same color of each pet when that pet disappears.

Emily hears how Theodora returned the rat to her neighbor, but her new dog still goes missing soon after she brings it home. Now she has convinced Emily to go and confront the old witch next door.

The intrigue about the rat provided enough pull and the writing craft was okay. It was an interesting story that left the reader mystified."

Not bad for the first review on my first published story.  I'll take it!

A Horror of Poets at GreyDogTales interviewed by John Linwood Grant

I was recently interviewed by John Linwood Grant, editor of the amazing Occult Detective Quarterly, along with two other poets, Angela Yuriko Smith and Anita Stewart.  You can find the interview on the greydogtales blog.

(This is awesome!)

The Poets Speak

Greydog: We’ll start with a political statement. John Barr, President of the Poetry Foundation, once wrote:

“…different kinds of poetry don’t communicate, don’t do business with one another… The advocates of each know what they like, and it’s definitely not what the others are doing. The result is a poetry world of broad divides, a balkanized system of poetries with their own sovereign audiences, prizes, and heroes. The only thing they share is the word poetry, and that not willingly.”

Is that something you recognise when writing and disseminating your work? Is horror or dark poetry an even tinier corner of the Poetic Balkans?

Angela: No, I don’t agree with Barr on the divisiveness in poetry. Yes, we tend to stay close to the genre closest to our hearts. As a child, I read Poe. When I started writing, of course I tried to mimic him. I have remained close to that vein. I didn’t know what genre was, I just knew what I liked.

I don’t see poets as divided as much as just different. I view poetry the same way I see nationality and race. No race or culture is better than another. Rather, the diversity is complimentary. The best culture and poetry cross-pollinates.

Lately I’ve been borrowing elements from science fiction and romance as well as trying out new poetic forms. The wonderful thing about poetry, and art in general, is the experimentation.

Anita: Certain things appeal to certain people of course, but enforced divides seem a bit silly and unnecessary to me, and I rarely pay attention to those partitions. I write poetry. Period. I write about different ideas in different ways, but it all comes from me. Sometimes I’m in the mood to pen fantasy or sci-fi verse, sometimes it’s all about the emotional angst. And sometimes I just need to raise the undead or let the serial killers wax poetic. It’s all about the whimsy of the muse with me. My books are usually a poetry mishmash, my volumes of horror haiku being the exception.

Ashley: That’s definitely something I recognize when submitting my work and I do think genre poetry (speculative genre) is in a tinier corner. There seems to be a clash of metrical poetry and free verse and then restricting that further by making it horror themed.

Greydog: And when it comes to reading poetry for pleasure, rather than writing it, are you more a classical or a modern enthusiast? Is there a particular period which enthuses you, or do you regularly flit across the borders?

Angela: I’m very fickle in my reading and tend to read whatever is in front of me. Even badly written work is good to spark ideas and new perspectives. I do have poets I tend towards. I admire the work of both Ashley and Anita. Recent new favourites include Marge Simon, Bryan Thao Worra, John Reinhart, Linda Addison, Bruce Boston and new poet Laura Duerrwaechter.

My comfort poetry, however, is usually classic. I adore Edgar Allen Poe. I have read “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes still makes me swoon and wish I had long black hair to plait dark red love knots into. I also like Frost, Bradbury, Carroll… and anything irreverent, in poor taste or rude.

Anita: Although I’m game to read most any poetry whatever the style, I’m more of a classical gal at heart. I lean towards the Romantic Era and poets like Coleridge, Poe, Byron and Shelley, as well as Victorian Era poetry and writers such as the Brownings and Tennyson. I do like a lyrical, flowing style as reader, more so than the often irregular rhythms used by more modern poets.

Ashley: I tend to read more classical poetry than modern for it seems you can find more formal verse in the classics than in modern poetry. Victorian era to the 1930’s, roughly.

Greydog: What do you see as the virtues of writing poetry, as opposed to prose? Does poetry bring freedom, or discipline, for example?

Angela: I see poetry and prose as facets of the same jewel. I like to play and write the same story in both. My story, “The Braid” has a poem written to accompany it. I am writing a story to accompany my poem “Death Waits.”

Poetry allows us to tell a story in a different way, in nuance rather than detail. It’s the difference between an experience, and dreaming of an experience. It takes prose down to the shadows, warps the edges and thins the veil. It’s the same horizon viewed sideways, while squinting, in twilight.

All writing is discipline. Poetry pulls out the essence of a story. It’s a way to see the bones of a thing.

Anita: For me, poetry is the more emotional of the two processes, and I put more pieces of my soul in my poems. I find there’s added freedom in writing poetry over prose, for while they both have their own discipline and rules of the craft, poetry is far more forgiving towards breaking those rules. With poetry, especially when doing free verse, there’s a sit down and let it flow attitude, a more spontaneous combustion of creation. I think there is an added independence of expression in my poetry, and maybe some subversive undertones as well. I like the naturally subjective nature of poetry that allows for more commentary on the human condition and the philosophical nature of existence. Plus, I can rhyme stuff.

Ashley: Poetry tells tales without cutting back, or out, rich language and vivid imagery. Prose’s point is to get a story across and often sacrifice’s imagery and even descriptions of people and settings. Poetry encourages us to pull out every piece; every scent, every texture, every sight, and put it on paper. It gives us freedom to be creative and imaginative in our descriptions but if you write in form, it requires discipline to fit every piece perfectly into the puzzle.

Greydog: What are the major themes you use your own poetry to explore?

Angela: Major themes in my work include freedom from fear and acceptance of flawed and damaged self.

It galls me that we program our children with fear as they grow. We think we are protecting them, but really we are emotionally shackling them. We gasp when they are near a spider, scoop them up and run away. Then we go back and squash the offensive creature that was merely trying to live, no threat to anyone.

We watch the fictional mob attack the monster with torches and pitchforks and think we aren’t like them. We fool ourselves to think we have understanding and compassion for that which doesn’t fit on our scale of acceptance. We switch the TV off then and grab our pitchforks. We lie to ourselves. If I could squash anything, it would be fear. Fear is justified ignorance.

One of my favourite soapboxes is also accepting ourselves as we are. I dislike how we are told to think outside of the box, but scolded if we colour outside of the lines. We are told to be anything we want, and then given a list of appropriate career paths. We tend to hide who we are to be acceptable, but I bet if we could strip away all the pretence we would see that we are all pretty monstrous—and it’s okay. Maybe if we were more open and accepting of our flaws they wouldn’t fester so much.

Anita: Generally themes that keep repeating in my poems are Celtic myth and places, death, the moon, the sea, outer space, pain, and TV shows. I like to set the light against the dark and explore the “what ifs” and the “maybes” of the universe and folklore.

I also write about things I take an interest in or enjoy, as with my Celtic themes and the aforementioned TV shows. To date I’ve enshrined Supernatural, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Copper, and Justified in the indelible ink of poetry, and I have a nice collection of Irish and Scottish themed poems.

Ashley: I like to tell stories, or hints of stories, in my poetry. My poems often tell a why, a how, and a who like prose, but does not sacrifice imagery, detail, and language. My poems encompass horror, dark fantasy, fantasy, and Gothic themes.

Greydog: We’re not hung up on meters and feet, but do you have a form in which you particularly like to write?

Angela: I do write a lot of haiku when I’m busy or exhausted. They are quick, creative little nuggets that satisfy my creative itches and I like to feel like they connect me with my Asian side, although American haiku isn’t anything like traditional, Japanese haiku, I found out.

Lately I’ve been playing a lot with pantuoms. When I first saw a pantuom I thought it was a stifling, artificial poetry vehicle, so I had to try it. I fell in love. It reminds me of cutting letters out of a magazine to make a ransom note. The phrases are cut up and re-pasted, creating different meanings. They feel distant to me, slightly surreal. I find that appealing.

Anita: I’m glad we’re not hung up on meter; I avoid writing metered poems as my attempts tend to leave me with a headache. I prefer forms with repetition, such as the Chant, Catena Rondo, the Trimeric or Cascade. I like writing forms that interconnect or build on themselves. And I also enjoy the haiku, and other non-Western forms.

Ashley: I tend to write in iambic pentameter but I am also fond of writing in Alexandrines (iambic hexameter). You’ll find sonnets, couplets, and rondels in my work.

Greydog: You’ve all published your work. What’s it like trying to get your poetry into the marketplace?

Angela: I’ve been very lucky. I’m impatient, so I’ve self published mostly, but that has opened a lot of doors for me because I have a large body of work to show. I’ve just started seeking to be published in other publications in the last year and have done well. Just about everything I’ve submitted has been accepted. I attribute that to all the self publishing I did.

We all write crappy in the beginning. I lucked out because I published all my crappy stuff myself instead of collecting rejection notes. I’ve recently gone and taken everything I think is terrible out of print. As far as being paid for poetry, though, I couldn’t live off of it. I write speculative fiction and poetry out of love. I write children’s books because they sell.

Anita: Getting it into the marketplace is easy. Getting it to do more than sit on a virtual shelf like a lump, that’s the real trick. If I ever master it, I’ll let you know. As of now, my poetry books are more of a labour of love than commerce.

Ashley: It was extremely hard for me to find outlets that publish horror and dark poetry. While I was trying to hit my 10 paid with pro rates ($5) mark, to qualify for HWA Active status, I was struggling to find publishers who fit that requirement. I decided that I would make a list of pro rate paying speculative genre poetry markets. I searched every horror market listing and checked out every publisher, magazine, press, and ezine to see if they took poetry and paid pro rates for it. This took over 2 years to do. That included submitting to the markets to see how they worked as well as emailing editors to ask if they did take poetry (if it wasn’t clear). I currently have my list and it contains 69 pro paying speculative genre poetry markets. I’m waiting for Occult Detective Quarterly to make it number 70 (Ashley’s list link is given later below).

Greydog: Finally, do you like the work of Edith Sitwell? If not, why not. This is a crucial test question.

Angela: I confess, this is the first time I’ve heard the name. Upon a quick bit of internet research, I will say I want to know her better. My impression is that she is a lady I would have been friends with. She seems to have had a total disregard for social propriety, ignored sexual ‘correctness,” and proper fashion. I share her view of parents.

I also liked the fact that she didn’t keep herself in a vacuum, dedicated to only one art. Creativity in all its manifestations was welcome in her world. She seemed to be an exuberant, improper bon vivante.

As of this moment, I have only read “Tournez, Tournez, Bon Chevaux De Bois.“ I love it. Insightful, unconventional and with cutting humour, just as I picture her from my brief glimpse. Ask me again in a few months what I think of her. She is on my reading list now.

Anita: Oh dear. I’m afraid I have no opinion as I haven’t read her work yet. Did I fail the test?

Ashley: I’ve never heard of her until I got this question. I quickly looked at a few of her poems and have to say she’s not bad.

Greydog: Everyone is, of course, forgiven on that last one. We offer our thanks to Angela, Anita and Ashley for participating. Whether you’re duck-mad for horror poets, a passing browser, or a sceptic, you should be able to find something of interest in their work. Do check them out below.


Angela Yuriko Smith’s published works span multiple genres. Her writing career includes writing, editing and publishing for newspapers and writing both non-fiction and fiction. She has nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, YAs and children. Her first collection of poetry, “In Favor of Pain,” was nominated for a 2017 Elgin Award.

Angela’s online home is at http://angelaysmith.com/  and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/angelayurikosmith. She’s on Twitter, Instagram and all, and her books can be found on Amazon at:  https://www.amazon.com/Angela-Yuriko-Smith/e/B0053YHTO8

The books she is working on now are Bitter Suites, about a hotel that specializes in recreational suicide experiences, and a poetry collection titled Alters and Oubliettes. Both will be released in 2018. For the rest of this year she is writing children’s books for the Everly Everywhere series with her husband, R. A. Smith, editing his first fantasy novel and promoting her poetry memoir, Escape Claws.


Anita (A F) Stewart is a steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, who still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being dark fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction.

In addition to her existing and forthcoming speculative fiction, Anita’s second book of horror poetry, Horror Haiku Pas de Deux, has just been published. You can find her across the web in various guises:

Website: https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scribe77

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor/

Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348788975590362/

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Writing Update

As Diary of a Sorceress turns a month old, I've been sluggishly trying to move forward with my next poetry collections.

The Withering, which is a collection of juvenilia poems, currently has 52 poems and is divided up into 4 sections: Nature, Supernatural, Psychological, and Physical.  Unlike Diary of a Sorceress, which contains fantasy and romantic/erotic themes, the Withering is various shades of horror.  Vicseral, raw, gory horror to supernatural to psychological.  Raw fun.

Because the poems in the Withering are old and horribly written, meter and structure-wise, it is agony to edit.  I have no idea when this will be done.  Some poems I have edited and cleaned up so well that I have taken them out of this collection and put them in my other collection, Diary of a Vampyress.

Diary of a Vampyress is my next 'official' collection.  It currently has 23 poems and is roughly divided into 6 sections.  Unlike Diary of a Sorceress, which has sections divided by themes (fantasy, nature, romance/erotica, horror), Diary of a Vamyress is divided by subject, as this collection will be more focused on Gothic and supernatural horror with possibly some dark fantasy elements.   Subjects, so far, include femme fatales, Halloween, Vampires and Werewolves, Witches and Devils, and the Apocalypse.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dark Poetry Special: The Crimson Circle by The Grim Tidings Podcast

This is the first time I have ever been interviewed for a podcast!  It was really fun.  Hopefully, I don't sound too bad.  I had a few drinks that night.  Other interviewees include The Crimson Circle, comprising poets of me, KA Opperman, Adam Bolivar, and David Myers, as well as Obadiah Baird and Dan Sauer.

Just click the link to listen to the episode, Dark Poetry Special: The Crimson Circle by The Grim Tidings Podcast.

Bruce Campbell Signing at Dark Delicacies!

Bruce Campbell has been a favorite actor of mine since Army of Darkness.  To be able to meet him was a dream of mine.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ravenwood Halloween Issue by Electric Pentacle Press

I am so excited to announce that my story, the Goblin of Tara, was accepted for the Ravenwood Halloween Special.  This makes it my second story sale ever!  And in the same month as my first story sale!  October must be my lucky month!  My poems, A Witch's Necromancy and the Skull Beneath the Skin, also appear in this, with the Skull Beneath the Skin appearing on the back cover with art by Mutartis Boswell.

(Look at that gorgeous back cover!)

Table of Contents

Samhain Remembered by K. A. Opperman
A Summoning by S. L. Edwards
Trick or Death by Calvin Demmer
Jakob's Yard by Andrew Bell
The Great God Belial by Michael Shultz
Heiya Hush Ya by Donald Armfield
The Score by Brandon Barrows & Steve Rupp
A Place of Escape by Rob F. Martin
Apex Predator by Julie Frost
A Witch's Necromancy by Ashley Dioses
These Guys by Russell Smeaton
Moundbuilders by Kevin Wetmore
Repeat by DJ Tyrer
The Goblin of Tara by Ashley Dioses
Walking the Veil by S. L. Edwards
Weatherall by Diane Arrelle
The Headless Horseman by K. A. Opperman

On the back:
The Skull Beneath the Skin by Ashley Dioses
Art by Mutartis Boswell

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Black Wings VI edited by S. T. Joshi by PS Publishing

I am ecstatic to be in this!  My poem, On a Dreamland's Moon, can be found within Black Wings VI by PS Publishing.  'Signed by the contributors'!  Really??  Does that mean me??  😲

 AN ANTHOLOGY edited by S. T. Joshi
CATEGORY Lovecraft inspired Horror
COVER ART Jason Van Hollander

Unsigned Jacketed Hardcover — ISBN  978-1-786362-01-8  [£25]
300 Slipcased JHC signed by the contributors  — ISBN 978-1-786362-00-1  [£50]

This sixth volume of S. T. Joshi’s acclaimed Black Wings series demonstrates as never before how infinitely malleable are H. P. Lovecraft’s weird conceptions. The twenty-two stories and poems in this book run the gamut of modes and genres, but each of them is fueled by elements large and small drawn from Lovecraft’s inexhaustibly rich corpus of writing.

Cosmicism is central to Lovecraft’s imaginative vision, and it oftentimes is manifested in tales of archaeological horror. In this volume, stories by Ann K. Schwader, Lynne Jamneck, Don Webb, and Stephen Woodworth treat this motif in varying and distinctive ways. Lovecraft’s work is also infused with a profound sense of place, as he himself was attached to the familiar locales of his native New England but also travelled widely in search of new vistas to stimulate his imagination. Here, stories by Tom Lynch, Aaron Bittner, W. H. Pugmire, and Darrell Schweitzer summon up the landscapes of diverse realms in America to tease out the horrors embedded in them.

Alien creatures are featured in many of Lovecraft’s greatest tales. In this volume, William F. Nolan, Nancy Kilpatrick, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jonathan Thomas, and Jason V Brock summon up multiform monsters inspired by Lovecraft’s notions of hybridism and alien incursion. The forbidden book theme is deftly handled by CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan, and the notion of other worlds lying just around the corner from our own is the subject of stories by Donald Tyson and Mark Howard Jones. Finally, David Hambling cleverly adapts Lovecraftian concepts to the locked-room detective story.

In commemorating the incredible efflorescence of weird poetry in our time, this book presents poems by four leading contemporary poets—Ashley Dioses, K. A. Opperman, Adam Bolivar, and D. L. Myers. Each of their works fuses skilful use of rhyme and metre with compact evocations of Lovecraftian themes. H. P. Lovecraft’s work is likely to continue inspiring writers for many generations, and this volume presents a vivid snapshot of what can be said in this idiom by sensitive and talented authors.

Introduction     S. T. Joshi
Pothunters    Ann K. Schwader
The Girl in the Attic    Darrell Schweitzer
The Once and Future Waite    Jonathan Thomas
Oude Goden    Lynne Jamneck
Carnivorous    William F. Nolan
On a Dreamland’s Moon    Ashley Dioses
Teshtigo Creek    Aaron Bittner
Ex Libris    CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan
You Shadows That in Darkness Dwell    Mark Howard Jones
The Ballad of Asenath Waite    Adam Bolivar
The Visitor    Nancy Kilpatrick
The Gaunt    Tom Lynch
Missing at the Morgue    Donald Tyson
The Shard    Don Webb
The Mystery of the Cursed Cottage    David Hambling
To Court the Night    K. A. Opperman
To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks    W. H. Pugmire
Mister Ainsley    Steve Rasnic Tem
Satiety    Jason V Brock
Provenance Unknown    Stephen Woodworth
The Well    D. L. Myers

The Dark Poetry Scholarship!

I have won the Dark Poetry Scholarship from the Horror Writers Association!  I am beyond words!  I am excited to use this money to improve my skills as a formal poet and broaden my knowledge the art.

"The Horror Writers Association is proud to announce The Dark Poetry Scholarship to supplement its Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Horror Writers Association Scholarships.
The first Dark Poetry Scholarship was awarded in 2015. Thereafter, the scholarship will be given annually. The scholarship is designed to assist in the professional development of Horror and/or Dark Fantasy Poets.
A sub-committee appointed by the HWA Board will choose the winner, who will be announced each year.
The Dark Poetry Scholarship is worth $1250, which may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Other Misadventures of the Crimson Circle in Portland, OR.

Oh man, where do I even begin.

Kyle (KA) and I departed by train on Monday Oct. 2nd and arrived in Portland on Tuesday.

Tuesday, Oct. 3rd

We met Dave (D. L.) Myers at the train station, who just arrived from his 6 hour drive from Washington, and headed toward our host, Adam Bolivar.  The Crimson Circle unites!

We made a quick stop at Adam's house to drop our luggage and take showers and then headed to the Horse Brass Pub to dine.  After dinner, we headed to our favorite cemetery, Lone Fir, and were gifted by Kyle pewter medallions, made by the amazing Joe Broers, of the Crimson Sign.  The Crimson Sign is a sigil representing the Black Shepherd, designed by Adam.  Learn more about the Black Shepherd in The Lay of Old Hex by Adam Bolivar.  We escaped the graveyard as we saw flashlights; not wanting to find out if they were security guards or merely grave robbers or necrophiliacs....

Wednesday, Oct. 4th

Wednesday we headed to this huge pumpkin patch and corn maze.  So it's the beginning of October and I guess the popularity of the corn maze hasn't hit yet, for we wandered through discarded Halloween props and not-yet-built props.  We were the only people wandering through this maze.  It was actually creepy in the middle of the day.

(Adam, Kyle, and Dave)

(The Crimson Circle)

We found a blackberry bush entangling a structure of some sort and cut through the corn to try some.


(Our travels were almost thwarted by this guy.)

(We had to have a sacrifice for the corn gods.)

The corn maze then led us to a mysterious abandoned carnival tent.  It also had four canned sodas still cold on a table.  Whoa.  Why were they still cold?  How did they get there?  This is in the middle of the day and the tent is nowhere near...anything.  There is nobody else around but us.

(Headless saint)

After we escaped the corn maze, we couldn't just head back and buy the pre-plucked pumpkins they had at the stand... No, we had to trek across the field to the actual pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins ourselves, because Kyle.  I chose 2 pumpkins; a perfect white pumpkin and an orange pumpkin shaped like a flying saucer.  We saw a garter snake and tons of frogs.  With our picks, we trekked back across the field, past the corn maze and carnival, back to the little market to purchase our pumpkins.

After that, we headed toward the legendary Witch House.  

(Witch House story)

We then headed to dinner at a lovely Cuban place and headed back to Adam's, where we sampled some Absinthe as poets are wont to do.

(3 different kinds of Absinthe.)

(Adam perfects the art....)

Thursday, Oct. 5th

Arising bright and early, we headed toward the airport to pick up a man of most refined poetry taste; Derrick Hussey, publisher of Hippocampus Press.  We all squeezed in the tiny car and headed to breakfast that had unlimited tea!  We chatted for a long time and then headed off to drop Derrick off at his hotel room.  We headed back to Adam's house to carve the pumpkins so they'd be ready as our props for our reading.

(And here Kyle is mad at me because I suggested it have a skeleton nose [because it's white!] instead of the vintage triangular nose.)

(Oh, I messed up?  What a tragedy!  That's okay, I can easily make it into a triangle....-Kyle)

(The Crimson Sign.  UFO Saucer pumpkin  in the background.)

We picked up Derrick and headed to an antique shop to kill time before heading to the Book Bin in Salem for the release party of The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy Issue Four, The Lay of Old Hex, and Diary of a Sorceress.  

(Spotted Cassilda's mask.)

(The Book Bin)

(Dave and Kyle read first)

(Dave, Kyle, and Obadiah Baird, editor of the Audient Void.)

(Adam and me.)

(I'm reading Atop the Crystal Moon.)

(I'm reading Master of Potions.)

After the reading, we did a raffle, and then people could come up and buy our books and get them signed.  That was awesome, of course, but I was excited to see David Barker and get his autographs for various books I brought.  He came up to me to ask about Atop the Crystal Moon and I told him to sit next to me so that I could tell him all about it.

After the reading, we brought the party to Obadiah's house to end the night.

(Dan Clore and Adam)

(Kyle and Dave)

(Blaine Stevens reading Diary of a Sorceress and Dan Clore)

(Obadiah and Dan)

(Dan Sauer and Derrick Hussey)


(Derrick and Dave)

Friday, Oct. 6th

The Crimson Circle returned to the scene of the crime in Lone Fir cemetery where we could enjoy it legally, in the day time.  

(Squirrel on a headstone.)

Fresh from the cemetery, we headed to the festival to get our guest badges and cause mischief.  We walked into the EOD Center where Ross E. Lockhart announced our arrival. Lol! 

At 7 pm, the Crimson Circle read.

We then attended Scott Connor's presentation on Clark Ashton Smith's art.

The rest of the night is a blur.  We probably ate dinner with Obadiah and Dan Sauer, because we ate with them for three days at various mealtimes so they're all kind of blurring together.  Best company.

Saturday, Oct. 7th

We attended a mass author signing in the morning.  It would have been better if I had been sitting somewhere else.  

I can't remember anything after that and before the Hippocampus Happy Hour party at Sam's Billiards that started at 4 pm.  Probably because I was nervous as Hell.

(Dave, Adam, Dan Clore)

(Obadiah and Scott Connors)


(Snacks and drinks!)


(Adam, Dan Clore, Derrick, Dan Sauer, Obadiah)


(Obadiah with Derrick and Rob Matheny in the background)

(Rose O'Keefe made an appearance.)


Our reading was recorded by DB Spitzer of the People's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos podcast.

Kyle and I were also interviewed by Rob Matheny for the Grim Tidings podcast.

Sunday, Oct. 8th

Last day!  We stopped at Blue Star donuts as appetizers before having breakfast at Sam's Billiards with the Audient Void gang.  

We checked out vendors, bought books and various things, ate, drank, hung out with friends, and received and gave autographs.

We attended a panel on Fungi, which was moderated by Orrin Grey.  It was awesome.  Afterwards I sat at the Hippocampus table and signed my Diaries for Derrick to have on hand.


(Dan Sauer and Scott Connors)

(Derrick, Dan, and Adam)
(John Shirley, Dan Sauer, and Adam)

Dave, unfortunately, had to leave early.

Kyle and I left Monday and arrived home late Tuesday.  And so ends the misadventures.  Till next year!