Chad Helder is the Stoker Award-winning editor of Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet (Dark Scribe Press 2008), an anthology of queer horror fiction, which he co-edited with Vince Liaguno. Helder's first book of poetry, Pop-Up Book of Death, will be published by Queer Mojo Press, an imprint of Rebel Satori. He is currently working on a new collection of horror poetry for Dark Scribe Press. He is also the creator and writer of Bartholomew of the Scissors (Bluewater 2008), a comic book miniseries with art by Daniel Crosier. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Jory Mickelson: You recently won a Bram Stoker award for your anthology Unspeakable Horror, tell me more about that.
Chad Helder: The Stoker award was for category “Superior Achievement in an Anthology.” I co-edited it with Vince, the founder of Dark Scribe Press. It was the press’ first book. That was pretty exciting.
In June, I attended the Horror Writer’s Association convention in Burbank, CA and they had the awards ceremony there. There was a big dinner in a ballroom. It was very Emmy-esque. Our presenter was Ellen Datlow, probably the world’s greatest anthologist. It was a huge honor.
JM: Are you editing anything now? You have worked on several different projects in the past.
CH: I am not editing anymore; I am just writing poetry. The submission period for Unspeakable Horror started in the fall of 2007 and ended in May of 2008. I was reading 35 stories a month for it. We managed to but the book together by December 2008. That was it for me editing. I am not writing comic books right now either. I am working on a collection of horror poetry for Dark Scribe Press and have about 60 pages of poems. I need to get going on it if I am going to meet my deadline.
JM: Can you define horror poetry?
CH: Horror poetry is poetry that uses subtexts and borrowed images from the horror genre. My stuff tends to be very surreal and postmodern, in the sense that it consciously borrows from horror movies. My poems want to be horror movies. I also use my dreams as a source for my poems. I dream about monsters from the horror genre.
I think that you have to be careful. If you Google “horror poetry” you will find a lot of stuff on the Internet. A lot of it can be really bad. The same thing happens if you search for love poetry online. When poetry is awesome, it is awesome, no matter what the genre or theme is. Sylvia Plath wrote a poem with vampire overtones. I really love Plath.
Read the entire interview here.
If you would like to hear Chad read from his work, he will be appearing on the Chuckanut Radio Hour on October 13th at 6:30pm at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom. Tickets are available at Village Books or www.brownpapertickets.com You can also visit Chad’s website Unspeakable Horror at http://unspeakablehorror.com/
Jory Mickelson is a VB Bookseller and is the blogger behind Literary Magpie.