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Another publication! This time it's a poem, "Revenants of the Antipodes", that was selected for the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume V.

I've been an active (professional) member of the HWA for five years now, and even though not living in the USA limits my involvement some, I participate in online discussions, avidly follow the Stoker Awards, and got to hang out with members during a meet up at San Diego Comic Con in 2016. Now I've made one of their members only anthologies, meaning my poem is in excellent company.

"Revenants" is one of two poems that have come to me in a dream, more or less complete (the other is the much-reprinted "Mary"). I dreamed I was at a writing workshop at the NSW Writers Centre, woke up and it was all still there, in fairly good unrhymed iambic pentameter. I wrote it down and polished it up. Where the topical inspiration came from, I can't point to anything in particular. Perhaps it is a long-delayed reaction all that stuff by Lawson and Patterson I studied at school.  But there it is. I hope that you enjoy this snippet!

"Each sunset, now inverted Autumn lies

as red and cold as murder on the fields,

the hoary squatter rides the bleeding trails.

His shapeless hat hides eyes like empty pits,

or so they say: his ancient duster sags

like blowfly strike across his horse's rump.

No dog for years, yet into night he rides,

beneath the old wind pump's abscissional blades..."

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It appears I have my first-ever nomination for the Australian Shadow Awards. My essay "A Shared Ambition - Horror Writers in Horror Fiction" (Midnight Echo #12) has been shortlisted for the Rocky Wood Award for Non-Fiction and Criticism. This is both a surprise and an honour.

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After a lengthy hiatus, the magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association returns for its 12th issue. As well as fiction from the likes of Angela J Maher and Matthew R Davis, it features my new essay, "A Shared Ambition - Horror Writers in Horror Fiction".

"On 15 September, 2016, Little, Brown & Company announced a new book by James Patterson and Derek Nikitas, entitled The Murder of Stephen King. On 22 September, 2016, it was announced that this work would be withdrawn, because the authors "didn't want to cause Stephen King or his family any trouble." (www.thewrap.com)."

I had already been thinking about the ways in which the figure of the horror writer was used in works of horror fiction, from S.K.s various avatars to depictions of Mary Shelley. The saga of this aborted book crystalised these thoughts into another wildly ambitious research project, that led to me finally watching a whole episode of Quantum Leap. Trust me: real horror writers wear muslin.

Electronic copies of Midnight Echo #12 may be acquired here or even here.


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April 2019

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