In our first blog for 2022, we have poet and novelist Catherine Zebrowski explaining the influence of the oral traditions of bards and ballads on her writing, showing us how an ancient tradition lives on by firing the imagination and creative juices of listeners. Kate has had two chapbooks of poetry published, inspired by her Irish Heritage: Immigrant and Gone Stealin’ are available through lulu.com. Her novels, Sleepwalking Backwards (2017) and Through a Bakery Window (2021) were published by TouchPoint Press and are available on Amazon. She is currently working on another novel and a poetry collection. Visit her web site at Catherine Zebrowski Writer.
We’re right in season with this October’s blog by Bret Laurie. Bret’s essay explores the similarities and differences of Mike Flanagan’s 2018 Netflix series and Shirley Jackson’s disturbing novel of horror. Bret provides us with an insightful analysis of how both texts delve into modern fears about isolation from human connection and pressures of modern life. Bret has published in online journals on the horror film and its working out of human anxieties about guilt and loneliness. He also works in editing and social media marketing for an educational publisher. On top of that, he was also one the sharpest students in my Romantic and Victorian Gothic class at Worcester State University!
This month’s blog is by author Michael Samerdyke. He shares with us his inspiration by a filmmaker, whom I agree is one of the most haunting, even poetic, creators of horror in the golden age, Val Lewton. Mike’s collection of short stories, His Queen of Darkness embodies that inspiration. Michael Samerdyke grew up in Cleveland, Ohio but has lived in southwest Virginia for several decades. He holds a Master’s in History from Ohio University and has done research in Berlin and Moscow. He writes horror fiction such as The Kino Trilogy and the Tales of Kurgania trilogy, as well as non-fiction about pop culture, such as “Wascally Wabbit: The History of Bugs Bunny” and “The Horrible Possible and the Horrible Impossible: Thoughts on the Horror Film.”