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The Native American people have such a rich culture, and

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10 Creepy, Captivating Horror Poetry Collections

10 Creepy, Captivating Horror Poetry Collections

My relationship with poetry has always been a bit love/hate. For the longest time I had a few beloved Romantic poets, and a couple of Restoration and Renaissance favorites. But when it came to 20th and 21st century poetry I was basically a snob. It’s weird. I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it. It’s not pretty. Thankfully most of us grow out of that overly opinionated English undergrad phase, and I’m glad. Because if I had not learned to love modern poetry I would have missed out on a lot of incredible horror poetry.

You’ll notice, as you work through this list and (hopefully) start pulling titles up on Goodreads, etc., to add to your TBR, that most if not all of these collections (and that one anthology I snuck in there) are from indie horror presses. In particular Raw Dog Screaming Press. They’re not paying me, I promise, but they are producing some excellent horror poetry. So while stacking the proverbial deck with their collections was not intentional, I definitely don’t regret it, and neither will you. Indie horror presses are putting out some of the most incredible, experimental horror in the genre right now.

1. SATAN’S SWEETHEARTS BY MARGE SIMON

This collection shot right up my buy list, so it’s going at the top of this list as well. Marge Simon is something of a legend in speculative fiction poetry. Along with being the author or co-author of over a dozen collections, Simon has also contributed her work to numerous anthologies of poetry and/or horror fiction. She’s a three time Bram Stoker Award winner for her poetry, and she has been the inspiration for a whole generation of horror poets who have followed after her. Satan’s Sweethearts, co-authored with Mary Turzillo, is about the villainesses of history; the Bonnie Parkers and Lizzie Bordens of the world. It’s a macabre subject for a truly macabre collection. Read More.
  Buy From Amazon

2. A COLLECTION OF NIGHTMARES BY CHRISTINA SNG

First of all, I love the cover of this collection. It is drop dead gorgeous, and a stunning autumnal addition to your bookshelves. As you’ll notice with many of the collections on this list, Sng’s A Collection of Nightmares embraced the tendency of poetry to invite readers into a deeper examination of their world. The difference between poetry and horror poetry is that it’s less of an invite and more of a forced kidnapping. At 92 pages it’s a short collection, but if you’re looking for another book to fill out your Halloween reading roster, make it this one. A Collection of Nightmares will deliver all its title promises: a black dreamscape of your darkest fears. Read More.
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3. MOURNING JEWELRY BY STEPHANIE M. WYTOVICH

Many people are familiar with the Victorian tradition of Mourning Jewelry, in which a person’s ashes, a lock of their hair, or a photo of their corpse are incorporated into some piece of jewelry (a brooch, a necklace, a ring, etc.) worn by their mourning loved ones. It’s a fascinating (albeit creepy) tradition that Wytovich spins in to a stunning collection of horror poetry. Mourning Jewelry is an examination of grief, the ways we mourn, and the ways in which our grief can become sickness and our mourning obsession. Read More.
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4. CHOKING BACK THE DEVIL BY DONNA LYNCH

I have seen so many positive reviews of Donna Lynch’s newest poetry collection, Choking Back the Devil. So far on this list we’ve had historical villainesses, mourning jewelry, existential terrors, and vivid nightmares. To this poetic brew Lynch adds a collection of ghosts, curses, urban legends, and witchcraft. One of Lynch’s literary specialties is apparently flinch-worthy body horror, and as the synopsis promises ripping knives and suture-based demon deals (I love it. It’s going to make my whole body cringe, but I already love it.), I’d say that Choking Back the Devil will be no exception to the rule. Read More.
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5. I AM NOT YOUR FINAL GIRL BY CLAIRE C. HOLLAND

This horror lover’s retro cover dream collection actually came to me as part of my very first Night Worms subscription box (if you are horror fiction fan and you haven’t checked out the Night Worms subscription service, you definitely should!) which was final girl themed. Clare C. Holland’s collection celebrates all those final girls of horror history as they fight their way past the monsters to the end credits. I love this collection. All your favorite heroines are here, from Laurie Strode to Ellen Ripley, Rosemary Woodhouse to Thomasin of The Witch, populating Holland’s collection as she reclaims their stories in the aftermath of a world that makes final girls of us all. Read More.
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