Some Thoughts About Poetry

This week, I received a copy of Over Misty Plains a poetry collection by Alessio Zanelli. Among the collection’s 88 poems are “Salt Teeth” and “The Hag” that first appeared in Tales of the Talisman. Alessio is a talented Itallian poet who writes in English. The book is available direct from the publisher at: I encourage you to take a look.

Back in January, I received my contributor copies of Dreams and Nightmares issue 91 edited by David C. Kopaska-Merkel. The issue is something of a milestone for me because it marks the first publication of one of my collaborative poems, a piece called “Pulsar Prospectors” that I wrote with Kurt MacPhearson. In the poem, we give a science fictional twist to a recent scientific discovery — the fact that planets can reform around dead stars.

You can learn more about Dreams and Nightmares magazine at:

I have to say, poetry is not something that comes naturally to me. Despite that, I find reading and writing poetry a valuable exercise that improves my work as a short story writer and a novelist. Poetry helps me phrase things concisely and clearly. It helps me select the best word for a given circumstance. Reading poetry helps me build vocabulary. Of course, this is just one aspect to the appreciation of poetry, but I think it’s an important one.

The person who first helped me to think seriously about reading and writing poetry was none other than Ray Bradbury. In 1983, I heard him read several of his poems at Pacific High School in San Bernardino, California. It was the first time I had heard science fiction themes explored in poetry before. In the years since then, I have learned there is a vibrant community of speculative poets. Many of them are members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. If you have an interest in learning more about speculative poetry in all its forms, you should check out the organization at:

2 comments on “Some Thoughts About Poetry

  1. Aarron says:

    I too heard Ray Bradbury speak at Pacific High School in the early 90’s; what an impact he made!

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