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Call for Submissions for the HWA’s Horror Poetry Showcase Volume 3

In 1721 Thomas Parnell ushered in the era of the “Graveyard Poets” also known as the “Bone Yard Boys” with his poem A Night-Piece on Death mesmerizing English readers with his dark musings on death

When men my scythe and darts supply,

How great a King of Fears am I!

They view me like the last of things:

They make, and then they dread, my stings.

Fools! if you less provoked your fears,

No more my spectre-form appears.

Death's but a path that must be trod

With their dark poetry these Graveyard Poets helped to usher in the Romantic Period which gave birth to the “dark and stormy night” during the volcano induced “year without summer” when Mary Godwin (Shelley) took her turn at telling a dark tale to her friends Polidori, Bryon and Percy (Shelley) on the banks of Lake Geneva. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus and later Polidori’s The Vampyre, both inspired by that night, helped to popularize the literary genre known as “horror.”

From the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh to Lovecraft’s Yule Horror (“There is death in the clouds”) to modern classics such as Bram Stoker winner The Four Elements, written by Linda Addison, Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob, and Marge Simon, dark poetry has walked side by side with dark fiction. To celebrate National Poetry Month the Horror Writers Association commissioned a new competition in 2014 called the Horror Poetry Showcase. Peter Salomon edited the first two volumes which were both Amazon bestsellers in several poetry related categories.

Volume 3 of the Showcase is now open for submissions. This year only HWA members can submit. This presents an excellent opportunity for not only HWA poets but also fiction writers to expand their talents and find their poetic voice. The top five poems will be selected by jurors, David E. Cowen (also editor of Volume 3), Stephanie Wytovich and John Palisano, and featured in the Showcase.

Submission guidelines and links to the HWA’s Submittable page can be found at

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