Columns > Published on October 30th, 2020

Five Must-Read Poetry Collections for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and as you continue to craft and work your way through your TBR list this month, I want to make sure that horror poetry is front and center in your mind. Over the last few years, we’ve seen speculative poetry bring out its claws as it slashed its way into our hearts…only to leave us bleeding and crying, desperate for more. As such, I’ve compiled a list of five must-read collections (both new and old) that will be sure to keep you up all night and have you screaming well into the day. 

1. "The Demeter Diaries" by Marge Simon and Bryan D. Dietrich

For fans of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, this collection is a dark, velvet-clad dream. It has the perfect balance of romance, horror, and of course…blood! Plus, it left me breathless and starry-eyed as it transported me to a world of love letters, stolen glances, and forbidden desires.

Get The Demeter Diaries at Bookshop or Amazon


2. "A Complex Accident of Life" by Jessica McHugh

For fans of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this book of black-out poetry will be the jolt you need on Halloween night. Here McHugh stitches together her own masterpiece as she gives birth to a new creature in this bold, beautiful, and monstrous collection. 

Get A Complex Accident of Life at Bookshop or Amazon


3. "Ladies and Other Vicious Creatures" by Donna Lynch

There’s empowerment to be found in monstrosity and Lynch both accepts and embraces that with the women throughout these pages. Her ladies are broken and bleeding, their fangs pointed and piercing, and I liken her writing to the transformation of human to werewolf: it’s painful and it hurts, but it’s forever sublime and I can never look away. 

Get Ladies and Other Vicious Creatures at Bookshop or Amazon


4. "The Sex Lives of Monsters" by Helen Marshall

What would spooky season be without folklore, urban legends, and ancient myths and curses? Marshall’s work encompasses the definition of beautiful horror as she dives into the complex relationships we have with all things monstrous. She explores the parts of ourselves we turn away from and uncovers the shadows of all things hideous we choose to embrace, and while this book might be short, it’s far from anything sweet. 

Get The Sex Lives of Monsters via Helen Marshall


5. "I Am Not Your Final Girl: Poems" by Claire C. Holland

Behold, slasher fans! This is the book for you. Not only does Holland write poems to your favorite films, but she explores gender stereotypes and stigmas as she rewrites what it means to be a final girl. This collection will satiate your appetite for something gory, fierce, and full of action, and it makes for a wonderful companion piece as you binge watch John Carpenter’s Halloween for the 13th time this month.

Get I Am Not Your Final Girl at Amazon

Alright, horror fans, what poetry collections would you recommend for All Hallows Eve?

About the author

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous venues such as Weird Tales, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Fantastic Tales of Terror, Year's Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others.

Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, and most recently, The Apocalyptic Mannequin. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press.

Follow Wytovich on her blog at stephaniewytovich.blogspot and on twitter @SWytovich. 

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