2012 Halloween Poetry Reading
edited by Liz Bennefeld

Pacific Rim - Deborah p Kolodji photo
Pacific Rim
Deborah P Kolodji

Werewolf Moon - Geoffrey A. Landis photo Werewolf Moon
Geoffrey A. Landis

Carved - Karen Romanko photo Carved
Karen Romanko

Insectoid - Liz  Bennefeld photoInsectoid
Liz Bennefeld

Xieng Khuan Park, Laos - Bryan Thao Worra photoXieng Khuan Park, Laos
Bryan Thao Worra

Circles Touching - Katha Bella Wilson photoCircles Touching (found art)
Katha Bella Wilson

Halloween Cat - Liz Bennefeld photoHalloween Cat
Liz Bennefeld

Portrait - Bryan Thao Worra photoPortrait
Bryan Thao Worra

stone face in cactus - katha bella wilson photoStone Face in Cactus
Katha Bella Wilson

Halloween poetry readings are your reason to dress up—PureCostumes.com
“Strange Oblivion”
by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
MP3 File (614KB)

“Strange Oblivion” was inspired by a piece of literature that has, alas, been forgotten, coupled with a news article about the frightening intelligence of crows. David Kopaska-Merkel describes rocks for the State of Alabama. His poems, short stories, etc. have been published hither and yon since 1972. He won the SFPA Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. His latest book is The Edible Zoo, a book of poetry for children published by samsdotpublishing.com. Blog at dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com
@DavidKM on twitter. Kopaska-Merkel is President of the SFPA.


“Night of the Living Ted”
by Dennis M. Lane
MP3 File (1.5MB)

This poem was written specifically to celebrate Halloween here on the SFPA site. This year Dennis's poems have been seen in Star*Line, Itch, and Eye to the Telescope and heard on Starship Sofa and Tales To Terrify. His latest book, The Poring Dark, was published in September 2012. It contains 24 science fiction poems, 12 short stories, and 24 flash fictions. The electronic version can be found at smashwords.com/books/view/230284
For the paperback version visit The Terran Dream Archive


“Alone with the Astronomer Ghosts”
by David L. Summers
MP3 File (2.7MB)

“Alone With the Astronomer Ghosts” was written for the 2012 SFPA Halloween Poetry Reading Page. David Lee Summers works at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the poem was inspired by a set of events that happened one lonely winter night. In addition to his work in astronomy, David serves as the Vice President of SFPA. He's also the editor of Tales of the Talisman magazine and the author of seven novels and over one hundred short stories and poems. David shares his latest writing news at davidleesummers.wordpress.com


by Linda D. Addison
and Stephen M. Wilson

MP3 File (3.9MB)

Linda D. Addison is Poetry Editor for Space & Time Magazine. Her work has made frequent appearances over the years on the honorable mention list for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and Year’s Best Science-Fiction, and she has received three Bram Stoker awards for her poetry. More at lindaaddisonpoet.com

Stephen M. Wilson is Poetry Editor for Abyss & Apex Magazine of Speculative Fiction and edits (@microcosms). He ís a multi-Rhysling Award nominee and won a Dwarf Stars award in 2011. More at http://speceditor666.livejournal.com

“Nocturne” is from their collaborative poetry collection Dark Duet, forthcoming soon from Necon E-Books and read by the authors.


by Bryan Thao Worra
MP3 File (2.7MB)

Democracia” appeared in the 2007 collection On the Other Side of the Eye, from Sam's Dot Publishing. Bryan Thao Worra is a Lao-American writer. An NEA Fellow in literature and a professional member of the Horror Writer Association, his work appears internationally, including Innsmouth Free Press, Tales of the Unanticipated, Illumen, Astropoetica, Outsiders Within, Dark Wisdom, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, and Mad Poets of Terra. He is the author of the speculative books of poetry On the Other Side of the Eye, BARROW, and the forthcoming DEMONSTRA. As a Cultural Olympian, he represented the nation of Laos during the 2012 London Olympics. Visit him at thaoworra.blogspot.com


by Chris Vera
MP3 File (762KB)

The poem was originally published in Heliotrope. It is included in Vera’s collection Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula. More information at chrisvera.com


“Escaping the Dawn”
by Jacqueline West
MP3 File (729KB)

“Escaping the Dawn” is based on the superstition that on Halloween, all the souls in hell are released for forty-eight hours. The poem was originally published in the May 2011 issue of Cover of Darkness and was subsequently nominated for the Rhysling Award.

Jacqueline West's poetry has recently appeared in Fantastique Unfettered, Ideomancer, and Niteblade. She is also the author of the award-winning middle grade fantasy series THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE (Dial/Penguin). Visit her at jacquelinewest.com


“Persian Garden”
by F.J. Bergmann
music by Fred W. Bergmann
MP3 File (2.6MB)

F.J. Bergmann espied this rug in the small, dim shop of a dealer specializing in such things. It is surprising that the design of the carpet would comprise such subjects, and mistakes may have been made: perhaps it was only the effect of galloping pareidolatry and Rorschach-ing. Perhaps. This poem first appeared in the Raintown Review. Further iniquities and divagations may be viewed at fibitz.com


“The Attack of the
Bleu Man Group”

(Live at Morgantown Poets, 2012)
by Michael A. Arnzen

MP3 File (2MB)

You will not think about the Blue Man Group in quite the same way after hearing Michael Arnzen’s hilariously dark version of an imaginary concert with a French tribute band to those famous blue-faced performers. This is a live recording from Arnzen’s reading to the Morgantown Poets society in June 2012. You can hear the original version of this piece, set to music, among other Halloween audio treats from this four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award on his website at gorelets.com


“Mrs. Winchester”
by Maria Alexander
MP3 File (1.6MB)

Maria Alexander is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated poet. Her poem “Mrs. Winchester” originally appeared on Gothic.net back in 2000 and has been published twice since. It was in part the inspiration for her script of the same name, which was a finalist at the 2012 Shriekfest Film Festival. Maria’s had a 20-year love affair with the Winchester Mystery House and is much too fascinated by its deeply haunted owner, Sarah. Listen and see if you can uncover why.


“When Zombies Go Steady
by Elissa Malcohn
MP3 File (1.9MB)

The Etheree “When Zombies Go Steady” originally appeared in Eye To The Telescope #4: Speculative Poetry in Form. This year Elissa has also published in ETTT #5, The Fifth Di..., Exploring the Cosmos: minimalist science poetry, The 2012 Rhysling Anthology, and (outside the genre) anthologies Comedy and Forgiveness, available from Caregiving.com. The latter benefit CareGifters, which provides $500 grants to caregivers in need. Visit her at home.earthlink.net/~emalcohn/


“What We Didn't Read
by the Falls

by Kath Abela Wilson
MP3 File (2.7MB)

Published in Poets on Site On Earth (Poets on Site Press, 2008). Musical accompaniment: Early Native American Desert Flute played by Rick Wilson, percussion by Kath Abela Wilson (wood block, maraca, tambourine, spring drum, and rubber band).


“Ghosts of Purchased Flesh
by Deborah P Kolodji
MP3 File (1.4MB)

Originally published in Dreams and Nightmares #54, September 1999. Accompaniment is Native American Desert Flute played by Rick Wilson; percussion by Kath Abela Wilson: maraca, Tibetan singing bowl, flipping pages of a book, small bells.


Previous Halloween Readings







Thanks to the SFPA members who have contributed their poetry and art to this page. All recordings and images are copyrighted by their respective authors and used by permission.

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