2022 Halloween Poetry Reading

curated by Miguel O. Mitchell

shim Miguel O. Mitchell, PhD, is a retired research chemist and professor, an award-winning visual artist in the metro DC area, an SFF author, and a speculative poet. Two of Miguel‘s poems were nominated for the 2022 Rhysling Award for Long Poem.

SFPA's Halloween Poetry Reading shares our enjoyment of speculative poetry with a broader audience, increases awareness of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, and promotes the individual poets who take part.

All SFPA members are welcome to submit one audio file per person of themselves reading one of their spooky, haunting, ghoulish, or humorous Halloween or horror poems. See the 2021 Halloween Poetry Reading or earlier years for examples.

If you are uncomfortable reading aloud or are unable to make the audio recording yourself, contact the editor or ask someone else to read your poem for you and provide the name of the reader.

We also want Halloween-themed artwork! See guidelines below. Please feel free to include a brief explanation of your poems or images if desired (not a requirement).

a tree branch with red fog and red lights behind it

Descanso Lights

by Karen A. Romanko

the silhouette of a bird in a tree with no leaves

"Straw, Feathers, Bones"

by Meg Smith

"Straw, Feathers, Bones"

by Meg Smith

a rope made out of cosmic light stretches above the surface of a planet to enclose a moon.

Cosmic Rope

by Akua Lezli Hope

"A Hanging Rope"

by Eugen Bacon

The artist sometimes known as Eugen Bacon is a non-android, full-blooded creature with two masters degrees and a doctorate in computing and writing respectively. The said qualifications do not endear this artist to editors any more than other artists. With much grovelling, repeat submissions, and sometimes fierceness, the artist has managed to secure publications in literary, scholarly and speculative fiction journals or magazines worldwide. She’s a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award, and was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. Latest releases: Mage of Fools (novel), Chasing Whispers (collection) and An Earnest Blackness (essay collection).

"How to Build an Altar"

by Angela Acosta

Angela Acosta is a bilingual Mexican American poet and Ph.D. Candidate in Spanish at The Ohio State University. Her speculative poetry has recently appeared in Eye to the Telescope, Radon Journal, MacroMicroCosm, and Somos en escrito.

“Death Two Ways” first appeared in Issue 4 of Last Leaves Mag in spring 2022.

"The Unworthy"

by Goran Lowie

a black woman's face and shoulders. Her eyes are a deep gold color and a similar looking pattern appears on her throat


by Akua Lezli Hope

"My Neighbor's Dog"

by Akua Lezli Hope

Akua Lezli Hope uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, sculpture, adornments, and peace. She wrote her first speculative poems in the sixth grade and has been in print since 1974 with over 450 poems published. Her collections include Embouchure: Poems on Jazz and Other Musics (Writer’s Digest book award winner), Them Gone, Otherwheres: Speculative Poetry (2021 Elgin Award winner), and Stratospherics, available at the Quarantine Public Library). her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, an SFPA award, and multiple Rhysling and Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations.

a person with an afro stands looking out at plush red and white furniture before several large picture windows. The edges of the image are blurred artistically.

Cursed Furniture

by Akua Lezli Hope

"Cursed Furniture"

by Miguel O. Mitchell

Miguel O. Mitchell enjoys inventing new words to create dramatic sounds and emotional impact in poems, exploring the many facets of otherness, blending chemistry with strange new worlds, and scaring people with words.


by Juan Perez

Juan Manuel Pérez, a Mexican-American poet of indigenous descent and the Poet Laureate for Corpus Christi, Texas (2019-2020), is the author of Another Menudo Sunday (2007), O' Dark Heaven: A Response to Suzette Haden Elgin's Definition of Horror (2009), WUI: Written Under the Influence of Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. (2011), Live From La Pryor: The Poetry of Juan Manuel Perez: A Zavala Country Native Son, Volume 1 (2014), Sex, Lies, and Chupacabras (2015), Space In Pieces (2020), and Screw The Wall! And Other Brown People Poems (2020), as well as, the co-editor of The Call Of The Chupacabra (2018). He is the 2011-2012 San Antonio Poets Association Poet Laureate and the Lone Star State's only EL Chupacabras Poet Laureate (For Life).


by Katherine Quevedo

Katherine Quevedo was born and raised just outside of Portland, Oregon, where she works as an analyst and lives with her husband and two sons. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her debut mini-chapbook, The Inca Weaver’s Tales, is forthcoming from Sword & Kettle Press in the New Cosmologies series. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching movies, singing, playing old-school video games, belly dancing, and making spreadsheets. Find her at www.katherinequevedo.com.

"Nightmarens" first appeared in Sidequest in October 2020.

"We Shall Meet Again"

by J.D. Harlock

read by Diane Severson Mori

J.D. Harlock is a Syrian Lebanese Palestinian writer/editor from Beirut. In addition to his posts as Poetry Editor at Solarpunk Magazine and Editor-at-Large at Wasifiri, his poetry has been featured in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, The Future Fire, and Mithila Review. You can always find him on Twitter and Instagram posting the latest updates on his work @JD_Harlock.

"Person of Interest"

by David Kopaska-Merkel

read by Diane Severson Mori

David C. Kopaska-Merkel, a retired paleontologist, has been writing speculative poetry and fiction since the 1970s. He won the 2006 Rhysling award for best long poem (for a collaboration with Kendall Evans), and edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine (since 1986). He has edited Star*line, an issue of Eye To The Telescope, and several Rhysling anthologies, has served as SFPA president, and is an SFPA Grandmaster. His poems (more than 1200 of them) have been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and more than 200 other venues. Some Disassembly Required, his latest collection of dark poetry, was published by Diminuendo Press. @DavidKM on twitter. Blog: https://dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com/

a number of people dressed in white clothings gather in a gloomy space lit with candles and beams of sunlight.

Imbibing with the Spirits

by Akua Lezli Hope

"Imbibing with the Spirits"

by Jean-Paul Garnier

Jean-Paul L. Garnier lives and writes in Joshua Tree, CA where he is the owner of Space Cowboy Books, a science-fiction bookstore, independent publisher, and producer of Simultaneous Times podcast. In 2020 his first novella Garbage In, Gospel Out was released, and in 2018 Traveling Shoes Press released Echo of Creation, a collection of his science fiction short stories. He has also released several collections of poetry: Future Anthropology, Odes to Scientists (2019), Betelgeuse Dimming (2020), and Utopian Problems (2021). He is a five-time Elgin Nominee and also appeared in the 2020 Dwarf Stars anthology. He is a regular contributor to DreamFoundry.org's blog and is the current editor of Star*Line Magazine.

At dusk, the shadow of a person appears on the ground next to a fence lined with pumpkins. There are darkened houses in the background.

Last Halloween

by E. F. Schrader

"Last Halloween"

by E. F. Schraeder

E. F. Schraeder believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs and usually writes poetry and fiction about things that are not quite real. The author of As Fast as She Can (Sirens Call Publications, 2022), the Imadjinn Award finalist Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021), and other works, recent publications have appeared in Moonflowers & Nightshade, Lost Contact, What Remains, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and other journals and anthologies. Schraeder studied applied ethics and humanities in graduate school and holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Social Philosophy and advanced degree in Library Science.

A black and white image of a person in a straw hat grinning with their teeth showing. The person is surrounded by small flying insects.


by Lori R. Lopez


by Lori R. Lopez

Lori R. Lopez can be found (if you look very hard) in Southern California creating poetry, prose, and art. Some of her poems were nominated for Rhysling Awards. Books include Darkverse: The Shadow Hours (nominated for a 2018 Elgin Award), The Dark Mister Snark, An Ill Wind Blows, The Strange Tail Of Oddzilla, The Fairy Fly, Leery Lane, Odds & Ends, Monstrosities, and The Witchhunt. This poem was first published in Darkverse: The Shadow Hours in 2017.

A woman holds a lit candle. More candles are in front of her, and in the background are floating dots of light in a dark sky

Bell, Book, and Candle

by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

"Bell, Book, and Candle"

by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a Pushcart Prize, Rhysling Award, Best of the Net, and Dwarf Stars nominee, is a member of SFPA, The British Fantasy Society, and The Dramatists Guild. She was Poetry SuperHighway's "Poet of the Week" [Sept. 12 - 18, 2022]. Elgin Award winner "A Route Obscure and Lonely," "Concupiscent Consumption," "Women Who Were Warned," and "Messengers of the Macabre: Hallowe’en Poems" [co-authored with David Davies] are her latest poetry titles. An October Scorpio, she’s written her next Hallowe’en chapbook. Forthcoming: "Apprenticed to the Night" [Beacon Books, 2023].

a group of figures dressed in robes stand amidst rising smoke and fog. In the background, patches of orange light suggest fire.

The Irresistible

by Akua Lezli Hope

"The Irresistible"

by Richard Magahiz

Richard Magahiz tries to live an ordered life in harmony with all things natural and created but one that follows unexpected paths. He wrangles computers as a day job but imagines a time when life might center around other things. His work has appeared at Liquid Imagination, Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, Right Hand Pointing, Danse Macabre, Bewildering Stories and Five Fleas. His website is at https://zeroatthebone.us/

"The Irresistible" was first published in Danse Macabre's 139th issue in 2021.

a red lighthouse covered in vines looms above a treeline. Clouds of pink-tinged fog rise to a dark sky

The Witch and the Ghost

by Akua Lezli Hope

"The Witch and the Ghost"

by Leticia Toraci

Leticia Toraci is a Brazilian freelance writer, poet and artist who lives with her husband, her two sons and a cat in South Germany. She has a degree in Masters of Food Science from the University of Reading, England. As a child, she won an Honorable Mention for two of her short stories in the Sao Paulo Public Servants Contest in 1986. She participated in theater in Campo Mourao, Brazil, where she recited several of her poems. She has also had art exhibits in Regensburg, Aschaffenburg and Munich, Germany.

"The Raven"

by H. Russell Smith

read by Fabra

Little is known about H. Russell Smith other than speculation. He appears and disappears without warning, fueling rumors of intrigue. A few of the more cynical townsfolk insist he is an interdimensional robot, which is both patently absurd and perfectly understandable. This poem was read by his sister, Fabra, the renowned NYC Latinist. It's as close to a celebrity reading as it gets, as she does know at least one famous person.

A pair of brown leaves on a blue background

Autumn Leaf

by Julia Morgan Scott

This image previously appeared in a book of poetry by Wendy Rathbone titled Autumn Phantoms.

"Cat's Eye Moon"

by Julia Morgan Scott

Julia Morgan Scott is a scientific illustrator, artist, and poet. Her dark fantasy poetry has appeared in Widdershins, Penny Dreadful, Bare Bone, Darker Woods, Poetry Motel, the Killer Frog Anthology, Plastic Tower, Star*Line, and Isis Rising and her art has appeared in zines such as Mimosa.

"Siren's Song"

by Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson is a multiple award nominee, with poetry widely published in many venues, including Andromeda Spaceways, Lucent Dreaming, Shadow Atlas and Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Colleen lives in Vancouver, BC and is a Ladies of Horror Fiction, Canada Council, and BC Arts Council grant recipient for writing. Her new poetry collection, I Dreamed a World, is available from LVP Publications.

"Siren's Song" first appeared in Water: Sirens, Selkies and Sea Monsters, by Tyche Books, 2022.

The moon rising beyond a cornfield

Rise Up

by F.J. Bergmann

This image is a photocollage incorporating a public domain image from NASA.

"Raising Spirits"

by F.J. Bergmann

music by Fred W. Bergmann

"Halloween Hearts"

by Adele Gardner

Adele Gardner’s poetry collection Halloween Hearts is available from Jackanapes Press. With poems & stories in Analog, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, and more, Adele curated the 2019 SFPA Halloween Poetry Reading and serves as literary executor for father, mentor, and namesake Delbert R. Gardner (gardnercastle.com).

Previous Halloween Readings


All publication rights revert to poet.
Submissions are now open.


  • Submissions are open to current SFPA members only. (Not a member? It's quick, easy, and inexpensive to join).

  • Send up to 5 audio poems in mp3 format and/or 5 images in 300-pixel-wide .jpeg or .png format, with a 100-word-max bio, to Lee at miguelmitchell@comcast.net with the subject line: "SFPA 2022 Halloween: [Creator's name]." No more than one poem per poet will be accepted. Preference will be given to artwork submitted by poets to complement their poems.

  • Reprints are allowed. Please provide the name of the publication and date of first appearance (If your work is available online, please include the link).

    No payment.  SFPA acquires one-time electronic rights for audio and images. (Please note that for the purposes of Rhysling Award nominations, posting on the SFPA poetry page counts as publication.)

  • DEADLINE: Submissions open September 1. Please send all material by October 26. Accepted work will be added throughout the month of October.

  • Please keep in mind when selecting a poem to record that Halloween is a popular children's holiday. If we feel that there is a problem with using a specific piece, either because of the content of the poem or the quality of the recording, the editor will contact the poet about it directly.

  • QUESTIONS? Email editor regarding submissions or the Halloween page at miguelmitchell@comcast.net with the subject line "SFPA Halloween.".

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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