by Ann K. Schwader
Schwader’s latest collection! Dark Energies released! Dark Energies is the powerful latest collection by American poet, Ann K. Schwader. New and hard-to-procure collected poems expand the vista of her artistic vision. These poems explore human plight in a dark cosmos and pitch historical, contemporary and futuristic observations in spellbinding metrical forms. As with all memorable poetry, t... [Read more]
and Other Madnesses
Item type: Collection
Format: A5 Paperback
This new 3rd reprint edition features an updated bibliography and an extended reviews section. Several of the poems have received revision at Leigh's hand, making these the definitive texts of these poems. Fantastic new cover coloring by artist, Gavin O'Keefe, and the always superb interior book-designing of David E. Schultz, complement the strange ecstasies of this book.
With a Foreword by US critic and scholar S. T. Joshi, and an introduction by the editors of P’rea Press, Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses is an essential acquisition for enthusiasts of horrific and dark verse.
“Excellent poetry of the weird … If you love Lovecraft and admire formal poetic form and structure then this professional debut collection must be in your collection!”
“Leigh Blackmore … is a superb fantasy poet, indeed, one of the highest order.”
“This remarkable little book of verse at once establishes Blackmore as one of the leading weird poets of our time, fit to be mentioned with the likes of Bruce Boston, G. Sutton Breiding, Ann K. Schwader, and others … Blackmore reveals penetrating insight into the authors to whom he pays tribute and an understanding of the metrical precision that sets them apart from the lazybones free verse that too often clutters our poetry journals.”
“Magnifique! Sobresaliente! Mumtaaz! [Blackmore] definitely has the touch … and of course I can tell he has the same sources of inspiration as I do.”
“Outstanding technical quality … deeply felt and well-crafted poems. The occasional inversions and older language, used with discretion, do not mar in any way these often fear-filled runes, but impart a needed and enjoyable variety … These poems, more often than not, strike home again and again.”
“The author undeniably has a talent for evoking mysterious and sometimes unsettling images and many of the entries – most of which are quite short – do indeed suggest the prose and subject matter of Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and other early Weird Tales writers … Superior in quality to most of the other poetry I’ve read in the same vein.”
“[An] excellent collection of poetry by Leigh Blackmore, one of Australia’s leading talents in weird fiction … One can say of Blackmore as Lovecraft once said of Clark Ashton Smith: “None strikes the note of cosmic horror so well.”
“Leigh Blackmore is well known in the Australian speculative fiction scene and one of our leading experts in horror and dark fantasy. Spores from Sharnoth shows another side of his talents – as a poet. This is a collection of poetic meditations on the life and works of H. P. Lovecraft, including a large section devoted to the Cthulhu Mythos. Leigh’s control of the sonnet and other poetic forms is – for someone like me who can just about manage a limerick – sobering. His language and imagery is at times dark, at others liminally romantic and thoughtful. It’s not the sort of book you can rush through. It is one you want to savour, read a verse, ponder and let your mind wander through the doorways Leigh has opened up.”
“Leigh Blackmore’s verse will appeal strongly to fans of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, and of the older, traditional Weird Tales school of writers. It belongs on the same shelf with August Derleth’s Dark of the Moon and Lin Carter’s Dreams from R’lyeh, to be treasured for its elegant lines, spooky sonnets, cosmic vistas, and, since Blackmore is a genuine poet and not just a pastichist, occasional departures from all expectations.”
—Darrell Schweitzer, author Transients, Ghosts of Past and Future
Reviewed by S. T. Joshi, for Dead Reckonings 4 (Hippocampus Press, 2008)
This remarkable little book of verse at once establishes Blackmore as one of the leading weird poets of our time, fit to be mentioned with the likes of Bruce Boston, G. Sutton Breiding, Ann K. Schwader, and others. Although containing homages to, and imitations of, the work of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Arthur Machen, and other weird titans, the smooth-flowing lyricism, the plangent symbols and metaphors, and the sense of place—the Australia of both the near and the distant past—are all Blackmore’s own. Chiefly a bibliographer and critic, Blackmore reveals penetrating insight into the authors to whom he pays tribute and an understanding of the metrical precision that sets them apart from the lazybones free verse that too often clutters our poetry journals. The final sestet of “Terror Australis”—a splendid three-sonnet evocation of the horrors down under—can only be quoted:
Antipodean nightmares strange and bleak
Fill dreamers’ minds with eerie visions dire,
That fill their souls with recondite desire
And draw them on to leer and shout and shriek.
Oppressed and tortured, baneful and malign,
With their grim fate Australians must entwine.
Reviewed by Don D'Ammassa on his review blog (please click on links)
Reviewed by Scott Green, for Green Genre Poetry Blogspot
Reviewed by Sheila Merritt, for Hell Notes