Archive for Clark Ashton Smith

Update 09/19/2019: Final Revisions for The Fell Fete

Posted in Averoigne, Clark Ashton Smith, Edward Stasheff, Grace Stillman, The Averoigne Archives, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, Updates, Weird Tales with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Just sent out the final draft for The Fell Fete. Hope I didn’t miss anything. Mr. Stasheff incorporated my initial revisions and just wanted me to do a quick read-through to ensure that everything looked good. Good thing he did, because there were a few very minor revisions that didn’t take from my last proof-read. I was making corrections on my blog in between calls, so I may not have saved some before I logged out.

I will keep you all apprised of any updates.

The Averoigne Archives (2019, Pickman’s Press).

PS: For anyone who is not familiar with Clark Ashton Smith‘s Averoigne story cycle, Pickman’s Press has published a companion book entitled The Averoigne Archives, containing all of the pertinent tales, which can be found on Amazon. The Spanish language version, Cuentos de Averoigne, even includes bonus translations of the poems The Woods of Averoigne (1934) by one-time Weird Tales contributor Grace Stillman, and To Clark Ashton Smith (1938) by Smith’s long-time pen-pal, H.P. Lovecraft.

Update 09/23/2019

Got my fee for the story, and it has been officially accepted. Now all there is to do is wait for updates on when the book will be available.


Update 09/06/2019: Morbidezza chapbook and revisions for Fell Fete

Posted in Averoigne, Denisse Montoya, Edward Stasheff, Pickman's Press, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Last night I sent out my revisions for The Fell Fete to Mr. Edward Stasheff of Pickman’s Press. Once they are approved and finalized I will receive payment and the story should appear in the Averoigne Legacy due out by the end of the month, if all goes according to plan.

I am also still working with my friend Denisse Montoya on my chapbook Morbidezza & Other Denizens of the Dark, which should be ready just in time for Halloween.

Impressions of Spectral Realms #11

Posted in Abigail Wildes, Ashley Dioses, Chelsea Arrington, Clark Ashton Smith, Dan Sauer, David Barker, Donald Sidney-Fryer, Frank Coffman, H.P. Lovecraft, Hippocampus Press, K.A. Opperman, Manuel Perez-Campos, Marcos Legaria, Mary Sinclair, May Sinclair, Pluto (dwarf planet), Robert Nelson, S.T. Joshi, Scott J. Couturier, Spectral Realms, The Coven's Hornbook & Other Poems, The Coven's Hornbook and Other Poems, Wade German, Weird Poets Society, Weird Tales, Yuggoth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Spectral Realms #11 (Summer 2019) [2019, Hippocampus Press]

Tuesday night I received my contributor copy of Spectral Realms #11 and the cover art by Dan Sauer is even more gorgeous than it looks online; the colors really pop and catch the eye. I believe that is true of the last few issues, since Mr. Sauer has taken over the cover & art design anyway. This particular issue is dedicated to W.H. Pugmire, and opens with a very fine tribute to the late author by Wade German entitled The Tomb of Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire which references his works to great effect.

As soon as I got the journal I read all of the poetry in one sitting. I enjoyed most everything included in this issue, but there were some poems that thrilled me more than others. I of course gravitate towards the work of my friends, but there were some odd surprises. David Barker, who collaborated several times with Mr. Pugmire over the years wrote a great little prose piece called Altar of Yig, which seemed like an outtake from a vintage Weird Tales magazine. Liam Garrock‘s Doctor Fulci’s Fantastic Cure for Nightmares was creepy fun as well. Manuel Pérez-Campos contributes three prose poems, all of which are decadent and belletristic in their delineation, but I think my favorite is On Gustave Moreau’s Canvas The Apparition, for I am familiar with the painting he is referring to and he is right on point. Ann K Schwader‘s Solving for X is a clever poem about the connection between the dwarf planet Pluto and H.P. Lovecraft‘s Yuggoth [ retrieved 7/24/2019]

As for my favorite pieces by my friends and acquaintances Frank Coffman, the founder of the Weird Poets Society, offered a nice rondel about pagan celebrations called The Great Wheel. A.K. Opperman wrote a fun Halloween ditty called The Jack-o’-Lantern Hearted, and his ladylove, Ashley Dioses, contributed Plague’s Wake which is slated to appear in her upcoming collection, The Withering. Abigail Wildes wrote a sweet yet macabre little poem about a revenant avian called The Blackbird’s Ghost. Chelsea Arrington‘s femme fatale Witch of Hearts is gory fun. Adam Bolivar‘s Cruel Eleanora reads like a cross between the traditional ballad of The Cruel Sister and Classical Mythology. The Necromancer’s Charm by Scott J. Couturier was the one that impressed me the most, with its decadent dark fantasy themes of necromancy in the idiom of Clark Ashton Smith. There are a few lines in there that reminded me of my unfinished work, Helldoradomouth, although Mr. Couturier’s poem is infinitely more imaginative and sublime than my own necromantic foray. The classic reprints are entertaining, as usual. Notably, Fright, by May Sinclair is surprisingly modern sounding, despite it having been initially published in 1920, and has a wistful spookiness about it.

The third and final installment of Marcos Legaria’s article on the apprenticeship of aspiring weird poet Robert Nelson and his mentor Clark Ashton Smith contains several examples of the acolyte’s work and quotes extensively from their correspondence.

There is a very informative review by Donald Sidney-Fryer of Mr. Coffman’s latest collection The Coven’s Hornbook & Other Poems which made it sound even more intriguing than I had originally anticipated. Now I definitely want to snatch up a copy. You can get yours at

Finally, it was so rewarding to finally see my prose poem Vampire Vigil in print, although I was surprised to see the first word of the poem The Baleful Beldam changed from anent, which means beside, to around. I’m surprised Mr. Joshi didn’t mention it when he had me change the false rhyme in the same line.

“In all,” to quote the folks at Hippocampus Press, “this issue demonstrates why Spectral Realms has become the go-to venue for today’s weird poets.”

Get your copy here:

Update 04/23/2019: Averoigne Legacy

Posted in Averoigne, Clark Ashton Smith, Edward Stasheff, Morbidezza, Pickman's Press, Rosaire, The Fell Fête with tags , , , on April 23, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I have signed and mailed out a contract to editor Edward Stasheff allowing my story The Fell Fête to be included in the anthology Averoigne Legacy by Pickman’s Press. I am very excited and am anxious to see what it will end up looking like. I had sent out the story a few years ago to an editor out of the UK, for another Clark Ashton Smith tribute, but they never got back to me about it so I assume either the book fell through or they were not interested. The version I am sending to Pickman’s Press, however, is slightly altered from that draft anyway. Honestly, I had tried showing it to other people and no one seemed interested. I even asked my good friend Galad to look at it and let me know his thoughts on it; he was kind in his assessment, but seemed unimpressed, so I dismissed it as a failure and never bothered to take it down with the rest of my poems and tales I had hopes of getting published. Presumably, that is how Pickman’s Press found it; O Fortuna…  I will of course keep you all posted on any updates.

I have also seen some of Savannah’s preliminary sketches for Morbidezza and Rosaire and so far so good!

Update 04/11/2019: The Grimoire of the Dark Young, Satanic Sonata, The Fell Fete, etc.

Posted in Averoigne, Black Hymeneal, Clark Ashton Smith, Corporate Cthulhu: Lovecraftian Tales of Bureaucratic Nightmare, Denisse Montoya, Edward Stasheff, Eyvind Kang, HWA (Horror Writer's Association), Mac Randall, Old Burying Ground, Pickman's Press, Prose Poetry, S.T. Joshi, Satanic Sonata, Spectral Realms, The Dark Young, The Fell Fête, The Grimoire of the Dark Young with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Well, I have had lots of stuff going on lately that I haven’t gotten around to mentioning till now. For starters, I asked my old Dark Young brother Mac Randall to write up a little something for the Grimoire of the Dark Young collection and he wrote a lovely tribute. I cannot wait to include it in the chapbook. Now I have to work on putting it together. By the way, in case any of you still care, I am closer to putting out my Black Hymeneal collection. I’m just waiting on my friend Denisse to make a few minor adjustments to accommodate a new afterword I just gave her, then she has to do the cover art, then we should be good to go.

Next up, I have recently completed a rewrite of my old prose poem Satanic Sonata which I wrote back in the 90s when I lived in Seattle, WA. Inspired by the avant-garde violin piece Universal by Eyvind Kang, I wrote it in 3 “movements”; the first, a prelude incorporating a real life scene I’d witnessed of preschool children running amuck in an Old Burying Ground in Cambridge, MA; the second and third parts describing a fantastic scene featuring devils and doomed souls. I am rather fond of the original, but it just wasn’t up to par with publishing standards, so I rewrote it. I think it is a lot more refined now. I shall be sending it soon to Mr. Joshi over at Spectral Realms for consideration.

Last, but certainly not least, I got a couple of messages this week from editor Edward Stasheff of Pickman’s Press. Apparently, they are putting together a collection of stories set in the imaginary province of Averoigne, for a Clark Ashton Smith tribute. Somehow, they came upon my story The Fell Fete, and they want to include it in the anthology. I asked around on Facebook and I did some research on line and they appear to be legit and I even got an endorsement in regards to their professionalism from one of the authors on their roster. I have agreed, tentatively, to allow them to use it, but I need to review the contract they sent me before I sign over any rights to anything. Their collection Corporate Cthulhu: Lovecraftian Tales of Bureaucratic Nightmare has decent reviews on Amazon.

I am excited, because their payment offer would be the most I have gotten thus far for one of my pieces and it would qualify me for affiliate status in the HWA (Horror Writer’s Association). I am currently only an honorary member.

Impressions of Spectral Realms #10

Posted in Adam Bolivar, Ann K. Schwader, Ashley Dioses, Black Mass, Bram Stoker, Charles Lovecraft, Chelsea Arrington, Christina Sng, Clark Ashton Smith, David Barker, Donald Sidney-Fryer, Dracula, English Folk-Rock, Eye To the Telescope, Flying Dutchman, G. Sutton Breiding, Hippocampus Press, Jan Švankmajer, Joshua Gage, K.A. Opperman, Leigh Blackmore, Liam Garriock, Manuel Perez-Campos, Marcos Legaria, Michael Fantina, Robert Nelson, Scott J. Couturier, Spectral Realms, The Pentangle, Wade German, Weird Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Spectral Realms #10: Winter 2019 (2019, Hippocampus Press).

I have received my contributor copy of Spectral Realms #10, from Hippocampus Press, and am loving it! The cover art, Chiron’s Burden – Pleiades Children, by Kim Bo Yung looks gorgeous in person; its weirdly celestial imagery and sublime blue tint is really eye-catching. Many of the poets featured in the previous issue are here, although a couple of my friends are disappointingly absent. Most notably, for me, K.A. Opperman, and Chelsea Arrington. Some of my other colleagues are represented, however, all of whom offer significant contributions to this issue.

Ashley DiosesLife Decayed tells shows the futility of trying to outrun the Reaper; Scott J. Couturier‘s Lord of Pumpkins is a fitting tribute to the conspicuously absent K.A. Opperman. I particularly liked the refrain:

Into the patch I gleefully go, / to fix my roots, to coil & grow.

Frank Coffman‘s The Witches’ Rite at Beltane revels in diabolic imagery that brought to mind the Black Mass scene from the silent film Häxan (1922). Apparently it is written in an original format he calls quinta rima.  His poem The Dutchman seems a cross between the Flying Dutchman legend and Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. There are also worthy contributions from some of the long-standing names in weird poetry like Leigh Blackmore, Ann K. Schwader, David Barker, and Charles Lovecraft, to name a few. Mr. Blackmore’s When the Nightwind Howls is a lovely tribute to the late Michael Fantina.

Concerning the rest of the contributions, everything is generally of good quality, but some pieces do rise above the rest; for me anyway. The first poem to really grab me was Eurynomos, by Wade German, about the mythological daemon, with its ghoulish imagery.  His other contribution to this issue, The Driver of the Dragon’s Coach, is a nice addition to the many works referencing Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. Next was The Haunting Bones by  Adam Bolivar, whom I have just recently become acquainted with through social media. His poem is an original take on the story from the traditional Cruel Sister ballad, which I am familiar with through the celebrated rendition by the English Folk-Rock band The Pentangle. His Mad Jack-a-Lee is yet another twist on a popular folk song. In this case, the bloody tale of Stagger Lee. Salem Liberation, by Manuel Perez-Campos. Both this, and The Mirror of Arkham Woe, his other contribution to the issue, really grabbed me in a way his previous work hadn’t. They’re basically prose poems formatted to look like verse, but their imagery and delineation are exquisite.

Joshua Gage‘s The Old Ones: A Ghazal takes a seemingly Lovecraftian spin on the ancient Arabic poetic form. The repetition of the second line refrain creates a cantatory effect which is mesmerizing. Liam Garriock‘s prose poem The Assignment tells a creepy tale inspired by the surrealist works of filmmaker Jan Švankmajer.

I feel that I must take a moment to mention renowned poet Christina Sng. She has a couple of poems in this issue as well. She tends to write prose which she breaks up to look like verse, rather like Mr. Perez-Campos did with his contributions to this issue. Her stories are well crafted, and her language is crisp and contemporary, with good use of economy. In fine, she is very good at what she does, but her work just doesn’t move me. Still, out of respect, I believe she bears mentioning, especially since she is a significant contributor to Spectral Realms.

The list goes on, and there are many more noteworthy pieces in issue #10 of Spectral Realms, even more by some of the aforementioned poets, but I do not have the time or room to cover each and every one.

Other features in this issue are the Classic Reprints, and an index to the first 10 issues of Spectral Realms. Donald Sidney-Fryer does an assessment of the poet G. Sutton Breiding which I found intriguing. Leigh Blackmore does a review of the Witch issue of Eye To the Telescope, and Marcos Legaria continues his enlightening essay on Clark Ashton Smith‘s influence on poet Robert Nelson.

Lastly, this is the first issue to feature two of my pieces, the prose poems Gargoyle and Morbidezza. Mr. Joshi corrected my Latin on Morbidezza, I mention that she used a bible for divination. The term I used was sorte sanctorum. It is in the journal as sors sanctorum. I looked it up and apparently, sorte is the plural of sors, and as I am referring to a singular item, it is the correct tense of the word. I’m glad he caught it!

Next issue I’ll be having two pieces, The Baleful Beldam and Vampire Vigil. After that I don’t have anything set, so I must get cracking on writing something new!

Get your copy here:





Update 02/20/2019: Response on Rosaire and Moribond

Posted in Ashley Dioses, Averoigne, Chapbooks, Chelsea Arrington, Clark Ashton Smith, Eldritch Tales, Felo-de-se, Frank Coffman, In My Time of Dying, Jenny Greenteeth, K.A. Opperman, Morbidezza, Moribond, Nativity in Black, Necronomicon Press, Night Hag, Phantasmagory, Prosody, Robert M. Price, Rosaire, S.T. Joshi, Satanic Sonata, Spectral Realms, Terror at Twilight, The Baleful Beldam, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Last night I sent a revised copy of The Baleful Beldam to S.T. Joshi, with the adjustments he suggested in his last email to me. I also asked him if he’d had a chance to read Rosaire yet. He responded a few hours later thanking me for sending …Beldam, and said that he did indeed read Rosaire and although it was too lengthy for inclusion in Spectral Realms, he did find it to be a “clever pastiche” of Clark Ashton Smith. He went on to say, however, that because of this it might be a tough sell, and he wasn’t sure who might publish it. I might have to publish my little Phantasmagory chapbook sooner than later, if I want it to be seen.

Phantasmagory is the new title I have decided upon for my planned chapbook of prose vignettes that will feature such titles as Morbidezza, Vampire Vigil, Rosaire, and Nativity in Black. I have considered adding other pieces, most notably Night Hag and In My Time of Dying, but I may save those for something else. I also have a couple older pieces I’d like to spruce up and perhaps include, like Satanic Sonata and the Jenny Greenteeth segment of my Felo-de-se.

I also got a response from Chelsea Arrington on Moribond. She didn’t say much other than she liked it and relished it gruesomeness, but noted that I needed to clean up the beats. This is the same issue Ashley Dioses found with The Baleful Beldam when she was helping me with that one. I seem to have trouble with that a lot it seems. Perhaps I am not cut out for verse. I may just ask K.A. Opperman to take a look at it for a second opinion because, out of my few poet acquaintances, he is a little more conversant in the ways of prosody.

Update 02/22/2019:

I’m thinking I might try sending Rosaire to Eldritch Tales from Necronomicon Press. My acquaintance Frank Coffman recently had his poem Terror at Twilight published in the 3rd issue of the rebooted series, so I’ll ask him how submissions work. They publish original poems and stories of the weird variety, especially stuff with a mythos bent. Perhaps editor Robert M. Price will like my little Averoigne tale.

Eldritch Tales #3 (Robert M. Price ed., Necronomicon Press) which contains the poem Terror at Twilight by Frank Coffman.