Almost two years ago this Spring, I pitched an unusual project to Tim Deal of Shroud Publishing. In the grip of my MA in Creative Writing at Binghamton University, I'd been reading - and writing - quite a bit of poetry. A lot of it dark and brooding, especially the stuff I wrote. Not necessarily "horror", per se (because "horror poetry" can be a crap shoot loaded with "dark emo cutting verse" and horror-porn poems), but definitely moody stuff.
Along the way, I came across Spoon River Anthology, a collection of interconnecting poems written by Edgar Lee Masters. The poems were epitaphs on tombstones of folks all from Spoon River, and told little stories - often sad and desperate, sometimes dark and cynical and amusing all at once - about their lives.
I thought to myself: "Let's take the Spoon River idea, mix it with something cool - like the legendary vanished colony of Roanoke - throw in a dash of Lovecraft - and do a horror poetry anthology about a little town in Massachusetts that disappears in the middle of a snow storm!"
And thus, The Terror at Miskatonic Falls was born.
A confession: I'm a late comer to poetry. As in the last ten years. Maybe it took some maturity for me to appreciate it, maybe the struggle to teach it to students, but my desire to learn more about and study and actually WRITE poetry has grown much over the past few years. I even have a small collection of my own verse. Maybe that'll see the light of day eventually.
Anyway, Shroud's poetry anthology went through several phases. As the poems came in and I worked with some AWESOME poets to fine tune our vision, I realized I needed a framing device - a state trooper stranded by the snow storm, who stumbles through Miskatonic Falls, finding bits and pieces of haunting - and, at times, horrifying - verse, along with the remains of the townspeople...but only that.
And no hope.
It's coming together later than we originally anticipated, but all the better: because Danny Evarts (Shroud Layout Guru SUPREME) has been carefully crafting some of the finest illustrations I have ever seen. I handed him quite a challenge with this project, and while I make no claims about it being the best thing ever since the written word...it will be VERY different from anything else out there.
Trust me on this.
Wait. You don't believe me?
Well, then....don't take my word for it. Check out the Steve Gilbert's cover, book trailer, and some interior art for yourself...