Posted in Bibliography, Gargoyle, Morbidezza, My Bantam Black Fay, Spectral Realms, Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society, terza rima, Thalía, The Baleful Beldam, Vampire Vigil with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

A listing of my published works and appearances.


Thalía (poetry): Spectral Realms #9 [Hippocampus Press]


Morbidezza (prose poem): Spectral Realms #10 [Hippocampus Press]

Gargoyle (prose poem): Spectral Realms #10 [Hippocampus Press]

My Bantam Black Fay (poetry): Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2018

Vampire Vigil (prose poem): Spectral Realms #11 [Hippocampus Press]

The Baleful Beldam (poetry): Spectral Realms #11 [Hippocampus Press]

Night Hag (prose vignette): The Phantasmagorical Promenade [Planet X Publications]

The Fell Fête (tribute fiction): The Averoigne Legacy: Tribute Tales in the World of Clark Ashton Smith [Pickman’s Press]


Satanic Sonata (prose poem): Spectral Realms #12 [Hippocampus Press]

Kiss of Life (prose poem): Spectral Realms #12 [Hippocampus Press]

My Bantam Black Fay (poetry/revision): Spectral Realms #13 [Hippocampus Press]

Hell-Flower (poetry): Spectral Realms #13 [Hippocampus Press]

Moribond (poetry): Spectral Realms #13 [Hippocampus Press]

The Baleful Beldam (poetry/reprint): Speculations II: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2019

The Hell of Mirrors (fiction): Penumbra #1 [Hippocampus Press]

Rosaire, Master of Wolves (tribute fiction): A Walk in a Darker Wood [Oxygen Man Books]


H.P.L. R.I.P. (poetry): Spectral Realms #14 [Hippocampus Press]

Greetings from Krampus (poetry): Spectral Realms #14 [Hippocampus Press]

Errant Jenny (fiction): Knock Knock: Wyrd Folk and Wive’s Tales [Frisson Comics]

Manurog (poetry): Spectral Realms #15 [Hippocampus Press]

Witch’s Tit (poetry): Spectral Realms #15 [Hippocampus Press]

Black Hymeneal (poetry): Spectral Realms #15 [Hippocampus Press]

Hell-flower (poetry/reprint): Speculations III [Mind’s Eye Publications]

Dream of a Dead Poet (tribute fiction): Penumbra #02 [Hippocampus Press]


Book of Shadows: Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies (prose & poetry) [2021, Jackanapes Press]

Update 10/25/2021: Box of Shadows

Posted in Book of Shadows, Jackanapes Press with tags , on October 25, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Thursday night I received a box of my Book of Shadows from Jackanapes Press and on Saturday I began the arduous process of signing, bagging and shipping them out. I went online to see who had padded envelopes and it seems Target had some decent looking 6×9 envelopes for cheap which might fit the bill. When I got there I saw there was a bundle of 6 envelopes from Scotch, the adhesive tape people, so I picked them up. As soon as I got them home and began filling one up I realized the book would not fit so, I had to return the two packs I bought and get some individual ones from another brand which seemed to accommodate the book. Even those were a super tight fit, so next time I shall be going up to the 8.5×12 size to ensure there’s no tearing in the seems as I stuff the envelopes.

While purchasing the individual replacement envelopes, I brought along a book to make sure it fit before getting any more. It fit, so I left it inside when I brought it up to the register. The cashier found it and asked if it was mine, so I said “Yes.” She then proceeded to scan the barcode to ring it up! I excitedly spoke up “No, no, no, I mean it is mine!” Then she nonchalantly took it off the tally!

I was surprised by how regularly the orders were coming in! My friends and family were hitting me up every 15-20 minutes. At first I was skeptical, but was reassured when I started receiving emails from PayPal saying “Money is waiting for you.” I also got requests from local friends to meet up for coffee and to hand over a book for cash in hand. I am grateful for their enthusiastic response, as I have bills to pay and money is very tight right now. However, once all my friends and family have copies I will have to find a way to draw in the general public, or at least the Weird literature community and Gothic Horror fans. That all said, it may of course still be found both on Amazon, and at the publisher (which is a little cheaper):

Book of Shadows: Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies | Jackanapes Press

Update 10/15/2021: Interviews and darkened mailboxes.

Posted in Adam Bolivar, Ashley Dioses, Book of Shadows, Dan Sauer, Endless Haunted Summer, Ev0ke, interviews, Jackanapes Press, K.A. Opperman, Rebecca Buchanan, Scott J. Couturier, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Well, it seems that pre-orders of my Book of Shadows are starting to darken mailboxes across the land. I have gotten text messages and notices on Facebook from folks who ordered it and reviews thus far have been favorable. I am, however, waiting for an official review which I can post a link to. Speaking of links, I should be receiving one soon for an interview I just did, via email, for Ev0ke, a website that specializes in witchcraft / paganism / lifestyle. I was sent 7 questions by author / editor Rebecca Buchanan (who also works behind the scenes at the site Endless Haunted Summer) which I answered and sent back. If all goes well, the interview should appear on their site in November, so keep your eyes peeled for that. If you’d like to take a look around the site and read the other articles and interviews (they have enlightening interviews with poets Adam Bolivar, Scott J. Couturier, Ashley Dioses, K. A. Opperman and the man behind the curtain at Jackanapes Press: Dan Sauer), you may do so at ev0ke – witchcraft + paganism + lifestyle (

Forgotten Update from 09/13/2021: Preparations for Portland, a crypt, a tomb, and a house from hell.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Forgot to post this update from back in September! Obviously, the info on my Portland trip is outdated, but interesting to see now that the trip is behind me: This past weekend was a busy one for me. Aside from my usual weekend errands I got my flu shot and made calls to confirm my plans for my trip to Portland in October. As things stand, I have my hotel and car rental all set, although I still need to work out my ride to and from the Phoenix airport. Worst case scenario, I will take a shuttle. I also have set up an appointment for a rapid Covid test so that my papers are in order per the convention guidelines. (update 09/16/2021: I have a ride to the airport and this morning I took the rapid test and am Covid-free!) My Book of Shadows seems to be getting a lot of pre-orders if what people say is true. I guess I will find out soon enough when I go to Jackanapes Press headquarters in Portland and have to sign them! (update 09/16/2021: at last count I had 15 pre-orders and was out-selling the other books which were released simultaneously by Jackanapes Press!)

Amidst all this I have still found time for personal stuff and I have been both reading a bit and watching some fun movies from my collection. My friend Peter K. loaned me a book entitled Japanese Gothic Tales by Izumi Kyōka, which I have been reading. I haven’t gotten far enough into have a definitive opinion on it, but I have been reading several pages a night, so I guess that means it is engaging enough to keep my interest. I like the prose and the fantastic elements, which remind me of some of the Japanese supernatural films of the 50s & 60s like Kuroneko, or Kwaidan. I will give a more complete assessment once I am done.

Japanese Gothic Tales by Izumi Kyōka (1996, University of Hawaii Press)

Every Saturday I like to take a trip to the library and pick up a few DVDs to watch during the week when I come home from work and cannot deal with anything else. Recently I have seen several television series and some dramas. I started with the recent adaptation of Little Women (2019), which I thought had some great actors, but felt it lost some of its emotional impact due to the nonlinear structure. Fun fact, the director of this movie, Greta Gerwig, plays Megan, the sassy friend of the protagonist in House of the Devil (2009). Anyway, that got me on a Saoirse Ronan kick so I checked her filmography online and decided to check out the movie Brooklyn (2015), which was excellent and made me nostalgic for my hometown, as well as my adopted hometown of Boston MA, which has a big Irish contingent. While reading up online about Brooklyn, I saw a recommendation for another British period drama called the Bookshop (2017), which was good, but ended on such a down note. The characters were likeable and I have always wanted to own a little bookshop in some sleepy town so I was really into it for most of the film, but the ending put me off.

Among the genre titles I watched was the complete series (it only lasted one season) of The Swamp Thing (2019), which I enjoyed and was bummed that there would be no more episodes forthcoming. I used to read the original Hellblazer, which began within the Swamp Thing comics, so this show brought back some fond memories. I picked up a couple of Blu-rays using store credit at Zia Records and got The Legend of Hell House (1973) and The Tomb of Ligeia (1964). I hadn’t seen the Legend of Hell House for many moons, so I was excited to see if it held up since the last time I saw it. I watched the Shout! Factory Blu-ray which contains a remastered print and a few extras, namely an interview with director John Hough and an audio commentary track from actress Pamela Franklin.

I know my buddy Chester would consider it blasphemy for me to say, but I think Richard Matheson basically took Shirley Jackson‘s Haunting of Hill House and just amped up the prurient content and the violence, much like the 1999 remake. While I was satisfied with the acting from the excellent cast, I felt that the script itself was nothing to write home about and the ending just missed the mark. (SPOILER ALERT, DON’T READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM).

Okay, so Emeric Belasco was a bit of a perv, and self-conscious about his height, is that enough to make him supremely evil and for his spirit to haunt Hell House? There was talk of vampirism, cannibalism, Satanism, none of which was shown in the film. He did chain up his son in a dungeon, but I still feel a bit cheated here. Believe it or not, I wanted more supernatural stuff and less heaving bosoms, no matter how lovely they are. There are some good performances (although I feel Roddy McDowell was underused) and some good atmospherics, but overall I felt that it was a half-baked remake of Robert Wise‘s 1963 adaptation of the Haunting, which is a superior film (and book) by a longshot.

Blu-ray from Shout! Factory for The Legend of Hell House

Roger Corman‘s adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe‘s Ligeia (screenplay by Robert Towne) is the latter of his two films produced in Britain, and the last film in his Poe cycle. They are both films aided by ace casting, on location shooting, and the superb production value. Ligeia, like most of Poe’s stories is very brief and is very much a mood piece, which makes things difficult for folks who want to bring his dark romantic vision to the silver screen. Poe’s narrators are often nameless and dialog is typically very limited, so a screenwriter has a lot to do when trying to flesh out a script from one of his precisely written tales. Although the end product is often very different from the source material, it is the essence and the feel of the story which is important in order to have a “successful” Poe adaptation.

Robert Towne at least incorporates many themes and descriptions from the original story into his screenplay and of course Vincent Price delivers the lines perfectly, as does his co-star, the lovely Elizabeth Shepherd, herself a veteran of the stage & screen, including Shakespearean drama, which helped in her convincing delivery of the period dialog. Aside from a gorgeous print, this Blu-ray also has some commentary tracks of interest, the most entertaining of which I found Ms. Shepherd’s the most entertaining.

Kino Lorber Blu-ray for Tomb of Ligeia

Update 10/05/2021: HPLFF Postmortem

Posted in A Walk in a Darker Wood, Adam Bolivar, Dan Sauer, Derrick Hussey, Hippocampus Press, Jackanapes Press, John Shirley, Lovecraftian Horror, Peter Rawlik, S.T. Joshi, Sarah Walker with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Last night, I returned from my trip to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland Oregon feeling contented and not a little wistful. I had a wonderful time at the festival, and I am so glad that I went, but I shall miss the town which reminded me of some of the better aspects of New Jersey, and I shall definitely miss my newfound friends. I only got to see one film and two author readings, and spent the rest of the time at the Jackanapes Press table hawking books and autographing copies of my Book of Shadows. In between, I did a little networking, and got to know my Jackanapes stablemates, Adam Bolivar, Pete Rawlik and founder/editor/designer/illustrator Dan Sauer. We ate most of our meals at Sam’s Billiards and spent lots of time telling stories and talking shop. I also got to meet author John Shirley who visited for a while on Saturday. He was really nice and regaled us with some tales from his illustrious career. Pete, Adam and myself (Dan bowed out so he could sleep in) took a trip on Sunday to the historical Lone Fir Cemetery which was fascinating.

Sarah Walker showed up on Saturday to read her powerful story “Greenfingers” from A Walk in a Darker Wood after the showing of “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Adam and I went with her and her husband Joe to dinner at Sam’s afterward. Sarah had Joe take a photo of us in front of the theatre and some festival attendee totally photo-bombed us, and we all had a laugh!

Pete also read from his novella The Miskatonic University Spirtualism Club, which was very entertaining and I hope to pick it up soon for my own collection. It was described to me as Nick & Norah from the Thin Man investigate a ghostly mystery that turns out to have Lovecraftian roots. The protagonists are actually from his previous novel, Reanamatrix.

The Miskatonic University Spirtualism Club by Peter Rawlik (2021, Jackanapes Press).

Unfortunately, S.T. Joshi and Derrick Hussey couldn’t make it, so the poetry reading Mr. Joshi planned did not happen and there was no official representation for Hippocampus Press. However, Dan got Mr. Hussey’s blessing to sell some contributor copies of Hippocampus titles he had lying around from the covers he’s done for them, which helped to fill up the table. There is some crossover with the respective author stables so Adam and I signed a few of those as well. Sarah also dropped off a handful of A Walk in a Darker Wood, which sold very well too.

I found it amusing how 9/10 times if a customer bought either my Book of Shadows or Adam’s The Ettinfell of Beacon Hill, they would buy the other book as well. Adam brought along his Lovecraft marionette and entertained us and various customers and with some impromptu demonstrations.

All in all, I had a wonderful time and feel like I have forged some new partnerships that will prove to be very fruitful in the years to come. I will definitely start saving now for next year’s festival.

For more information on the titles mentioned here go to Home | Jackanapes Press

Update 09/27/2021: My image is on a postcard!

Posted in Gary Bowers, One with Clay, Phoenix Artists, Phoenix Poets with tags , , , on September 27, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

The weekend before last I was visiting Bookman’s bookstore on 19th Ave. & Northern in central Phoenix when, while waiting in to check out at the register, I turned to my right to see my face looking back at me! What I was really seeing was an image drawn by my dear friend, local poet/artist Gary Bowers. I have known Gary for several years, from when I used to frequent poetry readings in the downtown area circa 2013-2015. Anyway, Gary has been doing this thing where he has been drawing portraits of local poets then doing an acrostic using their names, the effect being somewhat like the illuminated poetry of Blake, only he doesn’t color them. Anyway, he made one of me a while back and even made it into a post card which he sent me via post. Apparently, he mass produced these and others and was selling them for $2 a piece on a display at Bookman’s as part of their featured artist program. If I am not mistaken, Mr. Bowers intends to do a book of these portraits, which is a very cool idea. Anyway, If you would like to learn more about the man and his work you can look him up at One with Clay:

I took a snapshot of the post card and even though I believe his display may be coming down shortly, I am sure you can order a copy of the post card or any of his other works at the link provided above.

High School Alma Mater now carries my books!

Posted in Book of Shadows, School Libraries with tags , on September 24, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

My high school years were split between two different institutions located on opposite ends of Latin America. The first half was spent at the Uruguayan American School in Montevideo, Uruguay where I forged my first meaningful friendships, some of which I still maintain to this day. A few months ago, I saw a post in a forum for UAS alumni looking for published authors. Apparently, the school librarian was looking to create a section in the library for authors who attended the school at some point. I sent a publication list to the email provided in the post and received an acknowledgement of receipt. That was the last I heard about it for a while, until today.

Today I received a follow-up message from the librarian telling me that the school had purchased several of the titles featured on the list and she sent me a photo of the books and a selfie of herself (masked) shelving books. She encouraged me to keep in touch and I shall do that as when I sent her my last message my Book of Shadows was still in limbo! I feel an odd sense of pride knowing that my works will be preserved in a library, particularly of an alma mater. I am, however, curious as to what the students there might think of it all, as my work is pretty subversive in essence. Hence, I am now awaiting the inevitable message regarding an angry parent railing about the satanic drivel their unworldly child was exposed to!

Library copies of various journals and anthologies that I have been featured in.

Update 09/27/2021: I just want to correct my faux pas in referring to my correspondent at the UAS as a librarian. Apparently, she is the UAS Media Center Coordinator. I did not mean to be dismissive of her position, I am just a bit slow on the uptake and still have a tendency to use outdated and/or antiquated terms. Ms. Ravera, if you are reading this, I see you and appreciate all you do!

Penumbra #2 finally available!

Posted in Hippocampus Press, Penumbra (Journal) with tags , on September 23, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Penumbra #2 is finally available from Hippocampus Press! It features my tribute to poet David Park Barnitz, Dream of a Dead Poet, as well as tales, poems and essays from some of the leading names in contemporary weird literature.

The second issue of Penumbra is highlighted by “Lost for Words,” a new story by Ramsey Campbell, the leading writer of weird and supernatural literature of our time. In addition, veteran writers Darrell Schweitzer and Mark Samuels contribute original tales. Among younger writers, Curtis M. Lawson presents a science fiction/horror hybrid; Katherine Kerestman pens a skillful tale of vampirism; Scott J. Couturier, Geoffrey Reiter, Scott Bradfield, and Shawn Phelps offer glimpses of terror and strangeness; and Manuel Arenas contributes a moving prose poem. The issue also includes, as its classic reprint, Algernon Blackwood’s first published weird tale.

Among the articles in this issue, Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen examines religiosity in the early tales of Lord Dunsany; James Goho analyzes the roots of terror in the work of Caitlín R. Kiernan; John C. Tibbetts studies weird elements in the oeuvre of acclaimed science fiction writer Greg Bear; S. T. Joshi presents a comprehensive account of the weird work of Guy de Maupassant; and other essays discuss William Hope Hodgson, vampire poetry, Clark Ashton Smith’s Hyperborea cycle, John Collier, and other subjects.

Adam Bolivar, Wade German, Ann K. Schwader, Leigh Blackmore, Maxwell I. Gold, and Frank Coffman are among the poets included in this issue.

In all, Penumbra No. 2 is a cornucopia of the bizarre in fiction, essays, and verse.

Penumbra No. 2 (2021) : Hippocampus Press, specializes in classic horror and science fiction

Book of Shadows now available on Amazon!

Posted in Book of Shadows, Dan Sauer, Galad Elflandsson, Jackanapes Press, K.A. Opperman with tags , , , , on September 14, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas


My Book of Shadows: Grim Tales & Gothic Fancies is available on Amazon for those who prefer to go that route.

Book of Shadows: Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies: Arenas, Manuel, Sauer, Dan, Couturier, Scott J.: 9781956702026: Books

Here are some of the great blurbs from some of my colleagues:

For those who hunger for small bites of horror sweetened with black humor, this collection of Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies offers a satisfying repast: morbidly playful riffs on the faerie tales of the Brothers Grimm; darkly exquisite Gothic fables in both prose and verse; and hell-raising evocations of beings both demonic and diabolic. A rich feast of horrors leavened with wit, Book of Shadows offers a delicious glimpse into the decadent heart and mordant mind of Manuel Arenas.

In “The Sanguinary Saga of Morbidezza Vespertilio, Vampiress,” Arenas inverts “Sleeping Beauty” with more than a touch of Gothicism in the style of Hammer horror. With “Rosaire, Master of Wolves,” he shows us the dark genesis and bloody destiny of a born werewolf. A lighter touch is used in “Gothilocks,” a playfully sardonic update on “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The dread demon of Christmas makes an appearance in “Greetings from Krampus,” and in “Nativity in Black: An Anti-Christmas Story,” we are presented with a dark celebration featuring all creatures great and infernal in a pageant—quite literally—from Hell.

This volume is sumptuously illustrated by Dan Sauer, whose surreal images heighten the effect of the dark fantasies contained herein.

“The poetry and fables of Manuel Arenas are like specially gifted party favours on All Hallows Eve. Unwrap them and you are regaled with black humour shot through with light… elegant beauty one breath from decay…” —Galad Elflandsson, Author of The Black Wolf

“No contemporary dark fantasist more ornately encapsulates or gleefully embodies in day to day life the Victorian Gothic essence than does Manuel Arenas. These funereal incantations are wrought of black, delicately faceted crystal, wherein one may see reflected the glossy black curls of Gothilocks, or the pale proud visage of vermilion-lipped Morbidezza. Femme fatales are the stars of this nocturnal pageant, but many a monster peer from these nightshade-tainted shadows as well. Like the sweet yet lethal berries of Atropa Belladona, these purple poems in prose and verse provide the perfect entertainment for an October night.” — K. A. Opperman, Author of Past the Glad and Sunlit Season. October Ghosts and Autumn Dreams, and The Laughter of Ghouls

Book of Shadows available for pre-order!

Posted in Book of Shadows, Dan Sauer, Gothic Fairy Tales, Gothic Fantasy, Gothic Fiction, Gothic Horror, Gothic Poetry, Gothic Prose, Gothic Tales, Jackanapes Press, Weird Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

My Book of Shadows: Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies is currently available for pre-order at Book of Shadows: Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies – PREORDER | Jackanapes Press The cover and inner artwork by Dan Sauer are amazing and I am so happy and proud to present this slim volume of darkness to the world at large!

“Book of Shadows: Grim Tales and Gothic Fancies” by Manuel Arenas (2021, Jackanapes Press)

Update 08/24/2021: Speculations III arrives, and Book of Shadows approaches!

Posted in Book of Shadows, Dan Sauer, Frank Coffman, Hell-Flower, Jackanapes Press, Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society, Updates, Weird Poetry, Weird Poets Society with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Today I awoke to good news! Speculations III is finally available through This is the third collection of work from the members of the Weird Poets Society, edited by founding member and fellow wordsmith, Frank Coffman. The corrected version of my poem “Hell-flower” is in this volume, which may be purchased either through, or

Speculations III: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2020 (

Speculations III: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2020: Coffman, Frank: 9781736711422: Books

I also received an email from graphic designer Dan Sauer of Jackanapes Press featuring a PDF of the formatted copy of my Book of Shadows, all that was missing was the artwork, which I understand he is working on as I write this. I know that I am biased, but it really looks beautiful and I cannot wait to see the end product!

Update 08/31/2021:

I have been sent a revised PDF with the illustrations and they’re incredible! This is going to be a gorgeous book I can tell you right now! For future updates, you may want to sign up for the Jackanapes Press newsletter at Home | Jackanapes Press