Posts Tagged ‘poet’

AddisonNote: The following material ran in a recent issue of the Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers quarterly newsletter, which I edit. Here’s the fifth part of the piece, along with my original introduction.

Several things inspired me to put this project together. But mainly, it’s because I still frequently encounter the tiresome “nerdy boys club” stereotype regarding speculative fiction writers and readers. The widespread perception that our branch of literature is the domain of emotionally and socially stunted man-children who don’t want icky girls in their club unless they happen to be wearing skimpy cosplay outfits at conventions.

I think it’s important that we speculative fiction writers do everything in our power to help dispel that stereotype, and make it clear that women are a major, vital and respected part of our community. So I reached out to a number of prominent woman science fiction, fantasy and horror authors and editors, and invited them to share their perspectives.
Tom Joyce

Linda Addison is the award-winning author of four collections of poetry and prose and the first African-American recipient of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award®. She has published over 290 poems, stories and articles and is a member of Circles in the Hair, Horror Writers Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and Science Fiction Poetry Association. See her site:, for more information.

My first publication was in 1994. At that time I considered changing my name to L.D. Addison so it wasn’t obvious that I was a woman. I decided not to use an alias. Today there are more women writing speculative fiction than twenty years ago.
I’ve always seen myself as an author first, then any other labels are acceptable: woman writer, African-American writer, African-American woman writer. Through my eyes I see myself writing the stories and poems that come to me. It just so happens my imagination always went outside the realm of reality-based writing. I’m blessed to represent women writing weird stuff, always will be.

AddisonI’d be the first to admit I’m not a big “serious literature” guy. I love books, and I’ve read a lot of the “classics.” But I’m more into genre fiction. Give me a choice between, say, Camus and Elmore Leonard, and I’m going for the latter.

So I don’t read a lot of poetry – a literary form than doesn’t lend itself to depictions of shootouts or kung fu fights. That might change, though, since I’ve discovered a wonderful poet named Linda Addison.

I recently read a volume of her poetry called Being Full of Light, Insubstantial. When the very title of the poetry collection is gorgeous, I figure that’s a good sign.

She was a recent guest speaker at a group I belong to called the Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers, which is made up of writers of lots of different genres, but tends to skew toward horror and science fiction. (Great group, by the way. If you’re a writer anywhere in the vicinity of New Jersey, you ought to consider joining.)

I missed that meeting, unfortunately, because of a computer-related crisis. But I met the group for their customary lunch afterward, and had a chance to talk to Ms. Addison.

Man! Describing her as “charming” doesn’t do her justice. VERY cool person.

I was blown away when I found out the extent of her genre fiction creds. Her first poem was published in the seminal “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine,” and her poetry’s won not one but three Bram Stoker Awards.

And I’ll admit, Philistine that I am, to being a little bit puzzled as to how poetry could be considered genre fiction. Horror poetry? How does that work?

But then I started thinking about it. How about Charles Baudelaire? How about Edgar Allan Poe? How about “The Erl King” by Goethe? Couldn’t they all be considered “horror poetry?” Hell, if I really dove into it, I could probably come up with a list a mile long. (more…)