2014 Halloween Poetry Reading
edited by Stephanie Wytovich

“Whatever you do…don’t fall asleep.”
—Nancy, A Nightmare on Elm Street

Strangulation - Marge Simon
Marge Simon

Graveyard Vine - Sara Tantinger photo
Graveyard Vine
Sara Tantlinger

Honeybee - Liz Bennefeld photo
Elizabeth Bennefeld

Flora - Liz Bennefeld photo
Elizabeth Bennefeld

Nightshade - Liz Bennefeld photo
Elizabeth Bennefeld


Chasing Storms - Sara Tantlinger photo
Chasing Storms
Sara Tantlinger

Refining a Little Beauty - Byron Winton
Refining a Little Beauty
Byron Winton

Tragedy of a Leaf - Byron Winton
Tragedy of a Leaf
Byron Winton

by Robert Payne Cabeen

Robert Payne Cabeen is a screenwriter, artist, and purveyor of narrative horror poetry. His screenwriting credits include Heavy Metal 2000 for Columbia TriStar, Sony Pictures' A Monkey’s Tale and Walking with Buddha. As creative director for Streamline Pictures, Robert helped anime pioneer Carl Macek bring Japanese animated features like Akira and dozens of other classics to a western audience. Cabeen received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Otis Art Institute, with a dual major in painting and design. Since then, he has combined his interests in the visual arts with screenwriting and story editing for a broad range of entertainment companies including Warner Brothers, Columbia/TriStar, Disney, Sony, Nelvana, and Universal.

by Marge Simon

Marge Simon is a past president of the SFPA and editor of Star*Line. She edits "Blood & Spades, Poets of the Dark Side" for the HWA Newsletter and is Chair of the Board of Trustees. A former 1995 Best Long Poem Rhysling winner, she won the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior achievement in poetry, the Strange Horizons Readers Award, 2010, and the SFPA Dwarf Stars Award for short poetry, 2012. New collection, 2014: SWEET POISON with Mary Turzillo, Dark Renaissance Press. margesimon.com

"Fourteen: Rat model"
"Twenty: Out-of-body experience"
"Twenty-six: Near-death experience"

by M. Frost

M. Frost wears many hats: veterinarian, research scientist, and writer. Her poetry has appeared in Star*Line and many other journals, including Astropoetica, scifaikuest, and Strange Horizons. She has two chapbooks: Cow Poetry (Finishing Line Press) and Constellation (CreateSpace). Read her news at mfrostwords.blogspot.com or contact her at mfrostwords@gmail.com. This reading is a three-poem excerpt from a longer work, The Model 8 Polysomnograph, which is a collection of dreams and nightmares. The numbers refer to the night of the month during a hypothetical scientific experiment measuring the narrator's experience.

"Hitchcock's Prophecy"
by irv

irv is a full-time technology researcher/developer, part-time writer and long time bad influence on his grandchildren. He writes fantasy and science fiction stories and poetry during the endless winters in the tundra next to Lake Ontario where he lives with his wife and mother and multiple dogs and cats. His poetry has appeared in Dreams & Nightmares, From the Asylum, Niteblade, Paper Crow, Star*Line and other fine publications.

"On the Wane"
by John S. Tumlin

John S. Tumlin has been an Observer with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Satellite Tracking Network, a short-order cook, a college professor, a hauler of sheetrock, a professional actor, a skeptical UFO investigator, and a tracker of black rhinos in Zimbabwe with Earthwatch. His poetry has appeared in Aoife’s Kiss, Star*Line, Illumen, and other publications. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared elsewhere. He is a member of the SFPA and the SFWA. A sampling of his other poetry can be found on his website: www.johnstumlin.com .“On the Wane” was first published in Aoife’s Kiss, December 2007.

"The Nightmare Herder"
by Sara Tantlinger

“The Nightmare Herder” was inspired by too many late nights pondering the repercussions of broken dream catchers. If the catchers break and the nightmares leak out, who is there to guide those poor lost nightmares into the minds of unsuspecting sleepers? Other than musing over nocturnal terrors, Sara Tantlinger is a lover of all things strange and can often be found with a cup of tea writing odd things at night. She is pursuing her MFA through Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction program, and her most recent poem can be found at vsw.org/afterimage/inklight

"An Imbalance of Humors"
by Matt Betts

Matt Betts worked for years in radio as an on-air personality, anchor and reporter. His fiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of print and online venues, including Star*Line, Arkham Tales, Dreams & Nightmares and others. Matt’s poetry collection from Alliteration Ink is called See No Evil, Say No Evil, and his steampunk/alternate history/zombie novel, Odd Men Out, is available from Dog Star Books. He blogs at zombiewrangler.blogspot.com, tweets as @Betts_Matt and makes his online home at mattbetts.com.

"The Break in the Curtain"
by Steven Wittenberg Gordon

The poet, author, and gentleman songster, Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD, is the editor of Songs of Eretz E-zine & Poetry Review and a member of the Codex Writers’ Group and Science Fiction Poetry Association. His poetry has appeared in: SFPoetry.com, Star Ship Sofa, Scifaikuest, Eternal Haunted Summer, New Myths, Asimov’s, Silver Blade, Liquid Imagination, Dwarf Stars, and other fine publications. He resides in Kansas with his wife, children, and a poorly trained Airedale terrier. He maintains a part-time medical practice. Visit him at songsoferetz.com.

"Fog"   "TRAPS"
by Symantha Reagor

In elementary school, Symantha Reagor spent recess reading or writing in journals, creating poems and short stories. She never dreamed she would make a career from the dreams and random thoughts in her head. She became the first in her family to attend college and graduated from Grand Canyon University with an English Literature Degree and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and a Certificate in Copyediting from the University of California, Los Angeles Extension. She currently works as a writer at a AAA video game company.

"Watering the Alien Corn"
by F.J. Bergmann

“Watering the Alien Corn” first appeared in Cthulhu Haiku (2012, Popcorn Press). Music by Fred W. Bergmann. Further iniquities at fibitz.com

"High Road"
by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

David Kopaska-Merkel studies that part of the Earth called Alabama. Kopaska-Merkel has written myriads of poems, stories, and essays since the ’70s. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written 23 books, of which the latest is Luminous Worlds, a collection of poetry from Dark Regions Press. Kopaska-Merkel has edited Dreams & Nightmares magazine since 1986. @DavidKM on twitter. "High Road" is a wish-fulfillment fantasy, because reality is hard to take, sometimes.

"I Cannot Love You"
by Maria Alexander

Maria Alexander writes pretty much every damned thing and gets paid to do it. She’s a produced screenwriter and playwright, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as in acclaimed anthologies alongside legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham. Her second poetry collection, At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned and the Absinthe-Minded, was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award. And she was a winner of the 2004 AOL Time-Warner “Time to Rhyme” poetry contest. When she’s not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s being outrageously spooky or writing Doctor Who filk. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats, a pervasive sense of doom, and a purse called Trog.

"Katzen Clavier"
by Michael Arnzen

Michael Arnzen (gorelets.com) is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Gorelets Omnibus and several other books. He teaches fiction at Seton Hill University, home of the country's only MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. His novel Grave Markings is re-releasing this Halloween in a special 20th Anniversary Edition from Raw Dog Screaming Press.


Liz Bennefeld has been a member of SFPA since 2004. Occasionally, her articles, poems and songs have appeared in print and on-line publications, or performed, over the past 45 or more years. She recently retired after a 30-year career as a freelance editor, writer and consultant. Liz and her husband live in North Dakota, where they continue to pursue their interests in reading, amateur radio, target pistol shooting, and photography.

Byron, a Pittsburgh PA native and member of the PITTSBURGH SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS, is a freelance fantasy and horror illustrator who has worked in the comic book, pop culture, and horror convention industries for many years. His amazingly detail rich paintings showcase imagination, inspiration, and exaggeration. Byron paints popular culture imagery from memorable movies like Star Wars, Resident Evil and Beetlejuice, to name a few, as well as conceiving and executing mind-blowing original concepts. He has worked for CALIBER COMICS, MOONSTONE BOOKS, the industrial bands REIN[FORCED] and TRAGIC IMPULSE, and authors HEIDI RUBY MILLER and SUSAN K. DRONEY.


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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