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Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes: Zany Zombie Poetry for the Undead Head Paperback – Aug 5 2009
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About the Author
W. Bill Czolgosz has written fewer books than Mark Twain, and none of them nearly as competently. His own personal favorite is "Eat @t Zero's", published by "Coscom Entertainment" in 2005 and currently out of print. His latest project is a graphic novel called "Zombifrieze, " illustrated by Sean Simmans, a frequent collaborator.
Czolgosz lives in Proud Lake, Saskatchewan, with his two children and three cats, just a mile down the street from his on-again/off-again ladyfriend, who has not yet called the police.
He can be contacted by the angry, the insane, the melancholy, and the desperate at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Gouveia is a Mechanical Engineer who writes fiction in his spare time. His other recent releases, Animal Behavior and Other Tales of Lycanthropy and The Black Cat and the Ghoul have been well received. His Young Adult Fantasy novel, The Goblin Princess, has been re-released by The Library of Fantasy, an imprint of The Library of the Living Dead. He lives in Orlando, Florida.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I've never been a big poetry fan, nor do I understand its "rules", however I enjoyed this collection so much I read it twice. Some standouts include EVOLUTION OF THE DEAD by Sheldon S. Higdon, ROMERO BOUQUET by Zed Zefram, and THEM by Eric Ian Steele, all homages to the Romero films; I, ZAMBI by Kyle Hemmings with it's twist on the Frankenstein theme; DEADLY RELATIONSHIPS by Patsy Collins which deals with "real" zombification in Haiti; and BED AND BREAKFAST by Joe Nazare with it's hilarious tale of a morbidly obese zombie.
Some other favorites of mine include THE VIRUS and THE DAY OF REBIRTH by Sheri Gambino, SLOW BITES by Steve Vernon, THE END IS COME by Zombie Zak, ECHOES OF IDENTITY by John R. Platt, and DEVOLVEMENT by Ginger Nielsen. There really isn't a poem in this collection that I didn't like. I highly recommend it.
Some of my faves were DEAD LAND by Keith Gouveia, ZOMBIE SLAVE by John R. Platt, CAROLINE by Eric Ian Steele, SUCH A LITTLE THING by Camille Alexa, and the multiple entries from Sheri Gambino.
Featuring a nice blend of seasoned authors (such as Steve Vernon and Steve Rasnic Tem), some familiar names, and plenty of new comers, you'll want VICIOUS VERSES as part of your zombie fiction collection without a doubt.
Vicious Verses is bookended by somewhat long (by non-epic poetry standards) narrative poems that do well to set the stage for the work as a whole. "Isabella", by Adam Huber, tells us the tale of a father and his zombie daughter while "Payback Time" by Paul Freeman is one of love, death and vengeance as a teen among the undead. What these two have in common, despite two very different emotional cores, is a strong sense of the interior life of the characters. That approach of givining small splashes of insight runs through the entire collection, creating a feeling of global devastation in a wide variety of voices, styles approaches and points of view.
Most of the poems, like those listed above, tend toward narrative, one of the best of these being Camille Alexa's "Such a Little Thing", quite a moving story that centers more on the pain of loss than cannibalistic goodies. "Zombies at my Door" (John Hayes) makes a nice change into the traditional Voodoo Zombie tale, as does "I Zambi" (Kyle Hemmings), earning both authors my thanks for remembering the roots of the genre. "When the Dead Were Among Us" (Kara Ferguson) had me cheering with a single line: "We were saved by the videogame." And "Former Vocations" (Aaron Polson) provides marvelously personal snapshots of the end of it all.
Then there are the more emotional/sensory based works, sharply punctuated attacks of interior imagery like the mind-blowing "Slow Bites" by Steve Vernon. Easily among the best of this collection, we see the zombification of a family and resultant feeding upon our dear narrator as an extension of the slow nibbling away of his life that has occurred since his birth. Jennifer Williams, once again with a single line ("I have faith in the emptiness of my soul"), moved me to new dimension via "Incarnate".
Acknowledging that humor exists alongside horror and suffering even in the worst of times, there are plenty of gorgeously silly works like Mat Betts' "My Zombie Journal" ("Brains in brains brains brains brains the brains. Others won't share brains with the brains of us."). Shaula Evans approaches "The Burning Zombie Question" none of us dare to mention: What about the poop? And two words to blow your flippin mind: Zombie Limericks! Yep.
A moment needs to be taken to mention the effortless use of form by some of the poets present. JC Hayes ("They Eat Our Brains") and Tonia Brown ("A Zombie Sestina: Only Flesh") help provide examples of how formal poetry can be used without drawing undo attention to the form itself. Thank you for that.
Finally, there were a few odd balls. "Zombie Slave" (John Platt) left me confounded for a moment. Meanwhile, "Me Returneth" (W. Bill Czolgosz) left me howling at work. I honestly don't know a good way to describe these without giving the fun away.
Fuchs took a bit of a risk with this anthology, but it pays off overall. The closest to a problem that I came across, besides the occasional clunker, was that the volume of poems present tends to make them all blur together if read consecutively. If you give yourself a couple days' break every 30 or so poems, though, you'll find some great work here.