Really, no introduction is needed for Marge Simon, Anyone who reads or writes speculative poetry knows of her and she’s pretty much won every award you can get in the genre.
When did you discover poetry and who/what influenced you?
I grew up with poetry. My mother, an English teacher, also wrote poems and my father would read books of “grown up” poems with me. I loved the rhythms in such works as Sir Walter Scott’s “Hiawatha” and “Laska” by Frank Desprez, not to mention Poe. However, when I got to high school, it was the poetry of Steven Crane that hit me like a cyclone!This was long before I discovered genre/spec poetry. Flannery O’Conner and Angela Carter also were influences. Visions editor Bradley Strahan had a special sf issue of his magazine in the mid 80’s. I wrote my first speculative poem for him.
Why do you write poetry?
Why do I breathe?
A Hat of Crows
She’s posed, all feminine allure,
a murder of crows swirling
within, without that hat.
I fantasize touching her legs,
running the top of my hand backwards
over the soft brown skin,
stroking her torso upwards to her lips,
dreaming her into my power.
I beg her to remove her hat.
She only smiles that strange sweet smile,
as her crows circle slowly around her head,
beating their wings in terrible silence.
Space & Time Magazine 2019
What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry?
I’d that is a relevant question for individuals. For example, I don’t enjoy writing rhymed verse. I have high standards for rhymed forms of dark verse. I don’t care for forced rhyme, so I leave that to those like Frank Coffman, Ashley Dioses and Ken Opperman, who write only in rhyme, or at least, for the most part. In writing free verse, I work to be sure I’m not being too heavy handed or preachy.
Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?
Subjects I like to explore: types of people, actions and reactions, climate change and all its many ramifications, human frailties – all with a dark or ironic twist. Unsung heroes and villains, subjects with rich comparison & contrast. My 2019 Elgin winning collaboration WAR, with Alessandro Manzetti is about all types of wars down the ages, the leaders and victims involved, the conditions. Mary Turzillo and I have another collection in progress: Victims. Currently: The Demeter Diaries, with Bryan Dietrich, an alternative love story of Vlad Dracula and Mina Harker told in poetry (Vlad) and prose poetry (Mina).
What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it?
There’s a plethora of subjects and types of dark poetry, something for everyone from vampires and ghosts to ghouls and zombies, you name it. Besides the unsettling, the strange and creepy in verse appeal to a very large range of people from royalty to the village goof-ball.
She once was
Winter’s bride to be,
but she gave her heart
his bitter-cold breath,
knows she is bound.
Winter was not pleased
to hear of her betrayal.
So with one icy blast,
he tore a hole in her throat
& then blew out her eyes.
She longs for
sweet September mornings,
sleeping lazy, sleeping late,
the smell of Autumn’s skin,
his dear touch just before
he entered her
with the bounty of
all his knowing.
Polu Texni, 2018
What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?
As mentioned, a dark collection with Mary A. Turzillo, Victims, and Sifting the Ashes (victims of fires, climate change) with Michael Bailey.
Is there anything else you would like to say about horror or poetry?
I enjoy taking the writing challenges from Lee Forman’s Pen of the Damned, and Nina Archangelo’s Women of Horror FB writing to prompts project (flash prose or poems). I also have been fortunate selling dark flash fictions to Daily Science Fiction.
Marge Simon lives in Ocala, Florida and serves on the HWA Board of Trustees. She has three Bram Stoker Awards, Rhysling Awards for Best Long and Best Short Fiction, the Elgin, Dwarf Stars and Strange Horizons Readers’ Award. Marge’s poems and stories have appeared in Clannad, Pedestal Magazine, Asimov’s, Silver Blade, Matter Press, New Myths, and Daily Science Fiction. Her stories also appear in anthologies such as Tales of the Lake 5, Chiral Mad 4, You, Human and The Beauty of Death, to name a few. She attends the ICFA annually as a guest poet/writer and is on the board of the Speculative Literary Foundation. www.margesimon.com Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B006G29PL6
- Winner, Bram Stoker for excellence in a Poetry Collection: Vectors (with Charlie Jacob), The Four Elements with Linda Addison, Charlee Jacob and Rain Graves, and my own Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, inspired by Sandy DeLuca’s art.
- Twice winner, SFPA’s Elgin Award: Sweet Poison with Mary Turzillo and WAR with Alessandro Manzetti.
- Winner, Best Long and Best Short Rhysling Awards
- Winner, Dwarf Star Award
- Grand Master Poet, SFPA