It's National Poetry Month folks! That means I simply must share some of my favourite horror poets with you. As a writer who has also dabbled in poetry, I absolutely love a good, eerie or downright gory horror poem. So, without further ado, here are nine of my favourite horror/dark poets!
I'll also be focusing on modern poets only as although I love Edgar Allan Poe, I'd prefer to use this space to promote writers that are still alive and well.
Sara is one of my first modern introductions to horror poetry and I've been obsessed ever since. If you've read any of her long-form fiction, you'll know she has an incredible ability to captivate and terrify a reader with her gory imagery and striking language.
Sara is also a poet you should pick up if you're interested in historical/true crime horror as she's released both a poetry collection inspired by the Black Death and serial killer H.H Holmes.
Claire C. Holland
Claire's iconic poetry collection 'I Am Not Your Final Girl' is a must-read for any fan of feminist horror literature. Each poem is based on a famous final girl which is used to confront the roles women have been forced to take throughout history.
Claire's excellence in this collection is found in her ability to express how a lot of women find empowerment not only in horror but also in their own perceived monstrosity. Making it a truly impactful and horrifying read.
Gothic horror lovers will delight in Jessica's poetry!
Both of her collections are so unique and spooky in their own right, yet both carry such intense and vivid imagery that transports you into each atmospheric piece. Plus, her lyrical language and gripping narratives are a treat for anyone who enjoys the gothic subgenre.
Stephanie M. Wytovich
Stephanie is not only one of the many icons of the horror poetry community but of the indie horror community in general. Her work is perfect for those new to horror poetry or seasoned readers as her collections range from themes of dystopia, erotica, gothic and so much more.
Her work always manages to bring you into unique, eerie landscapes that will both horrify and captivate you in the best way possible.
Christina is another great poet to go to if you're looking for haunting yet lyrical prose with a genre-based twist. Most of her work features a unique and intriguing mix of fairytales and sci-fi which is so interesting and captivating to read and get lost in.
Cynthia is a must-read for those who love to mix their horror with true crime and feminism. Her work is truly a stab to the heart as her prose can bring forth such intense emotion all the while relaying the everyday horrific experiences most female-presenting people have endured or feared.
Another aspect that I personally appreciate about her work is that she can shed light on the horrors of such violence without romanticizing the victims and their trauma which is a pit a lot of people fall into when choosing this topic.
Stephanie's debut poetry collection is told through the lens of a woman's internal struggle with each poem inspired by childhood fairytales.
The poems easily capture so many powerful themes ranging from identity, grief, womanhood, freedom and so much more. A perfect dark selection of poems for any fan of contemporary takes on classic fairytales.
Monica Robinson is a new favourite of mine. 'Peeling The Yellow Wallpaper' is a great example of how powerful and stunning her writing is as it not only embodies the haunting gothic tale by Charlotte Gilman Perkins but also brings in modern issues regarding motherhood, insufficient healthcare and grief to keep the narrative fresh and full of dread.
Hey! Want to read a gothic tale about a mortician who can see ghosts?
On the outskirts of London, 1855, mortician and funeral director Helena Morrigan struggles with her limited finances and the heavy burdens of her past. Desperate to secure herself, she takes up residence in an aged house closer the graveyard, closer to the lost souls that sense her torment and are determined to take her place in the mortal world.
As she tries to tame and free the ghostly figures around her, she becomes acquainted with the owners of the home, the recently orphaned siblings, Eric, Audrey and Christian Tarter. Yet, the souls she wants to save are on edge as a horrific serial killer runs rampant, giving Helena a boost in business and suspicion.
Against her best efforts, Helena is suddenly thrown into a bloody mystery where new and old friendships are tested, innocents are maimed and a horrific family secret that threatens her chance at a peaceful existence and her existence itself.