Monday, September 17, 2012

Notes from the Shadow City



 
I recently finished reading Notes from the Shadow City, a poetry chapbook collaboration between two widely recognized speculative poets, Gary William Crawford and Bruce Boston. The book is scheduled to be out on September 18 from Dark Regions Press, but I was able to score an advanced copy! I’m a big fan of both poets and have quite a shelf full of their books in my office. The “Shadow City” is a powerfully macabre creation of Crawford’s, and Bruce Boston plays beautifully in that imagined urban landscape.


My first exposure to the Shadow City concept came in Crawford’s 2005 chapbook from Naked Snake Press, simply called The Shadow City. It was nominated for the Bram Stoker award from the Horror Writers Association. I’ll be surprised if the new, and much expanded collection, Notes from the Shadow City, doesn’t get nominated as well. As a member of HWA, I’ll nominate it myself.


The language in “Notes,” from both poets, is simple and stark, which accentuates the horror described in such poems as “A Night Storm in the Shadow City,” and “The River Magnus Winds Through the Shadow City.” There are no pastels in this world, no light hearts, no thoughts that are not twisted in ways both subtle and profound. Image builds upon image; weight builds upon weight.  Not to numb the mind but to scour it free of layers of complacency and rust. I highly recommend such a scrubbing for everyone.


You can find out more about Gary William Crawford at the Gothic Press site, which Crawford founded. For information on Bruce Boston, check out his website.

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21 comments:

Cloudia said...

Great evocative title




Wishing You a happy week,
with Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
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David J. West said...

It's hard to find poetry I like these days, but a recommendation from you is gold.

Merisi said...

Some fearsome poetry - Dante and Blake lurking somewhere in the shadows? ;-)

the walking man said...

I like scrubbing. I do it at least once a month. We ration water round here. I will have to look for this sounds like a new form TO ME.

Keith said...

Sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out.

Rick said...

Sounds exceptional, Charles. Can't wait to get a copy.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, there are lots of jewels like that throughout the work

David J., simple and elegant stuff. The cumulative effect is pretty strong.

Merisi, Blake is certainly an influence on both these writers.

Mark, I need more scrubbing myself.

Keith, thankee.

Rick, I really like both these poets a lot.

jodi said...

Charles, the cover of his book ROCKS. Very cool!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, yeah, and there are neat internal illos as well

Chris Benjamin said...

Haven't read speculative poetry I don't think...oh wait, Edgar Allan Poe, but it's been a while. This one sounds good.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Fascinating, Charles. I'm glad horror poetry are still around in the 21st century. Thanks for writing about Crawford and Boston and their work.

laughingwolf said...

good fun, from the sounds of your review... gonna look for it

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, Poe set much of that in motion. That is most of what I read as far as poetry goes.

Prashant, definitely. some good stuff being done in the field.

Laughingwolf, I enjoyed.

X. Dell said...

Not really a fan of horror. But some of the other titles on his site look inviting.

Charles Gramlich said...

X-Dell, did you like Poe? This seems along that vein.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have to say I think in many ways, we have never been more creative as a species. Things fan out in every direction.

Oscar said...

Don't have time for horror now, but it sounds dark and exciting.

Deka Black said...

good title. precisely Just yesterday i've read sonçme Robert E. Howard poems. Poetry is not one of my most liked genres. i fear i've only read some medieval works about wars and things like that.

Btw: Sorry for my absence in your comments. my computer broke and the fixing took some days.

And, of course, i hope lana is OK ;)

The Golden Eagle said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I love the title and cover.

sage said...

Sounds like interesting poetry

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, you know, that's true. And maybe it's a good sign, if we don't turn that creativity toward destruction.

Oscar, horror is one of my favorite genres.

Deka, horror poetry is probably my favorite kind. I like the powerful emotions. No problem about the comments. Glad you got your computer fixed finally.

Golden Eagle, yes, the title is wonderful. The cover is better with more pixels.

Sage, it builds on you.