Combining lush Gothic lyricism with postmodern experimentation, Oliver Sheppard's second collection of verse, Thirteen Nocturnes , presents a nightmare vision of a world in the grip of apocalypse and shadow-a world where "a nighttime of years never-ending" becomes "a darkness severe and unbending," and where life is relentlessly "gathered up against the towering shadow of decay." Taking cues from the dark Romanticism of Poe, the decadent Symbolism of Baudelaire, and the apocalyptic tradition of William Blake-as well as the ...
Combining lush Gothic lyricism with postmodern experimentation, Oliver Sheppard's second collection of verse, Thirteen Nocturnes , presents a nightmare vision of a world in the grip of apocalypse and shadow-a world where "a nighttime of years never-ending" becomes "a darkness severe and unbending," and where life is relentlessly "gathered up against the towering shadow of decay." Taking cues from the dark Romanticism of Poe, the decadent Symbolism of Baudelaire, and the apocalyptic tradition of William Blake-as well as the existential doominess of 20th century cosmic horror-Oliver Sheppard's Thirteen Nocturnes presents a verse vision of collapse, announcing a cold poetics of disintegration in the new dark age of the Anthropocene. Since its publication in 2018, Thirteen Nocturnes has been nominated for an Elgin Award for Best Full-Length Poetry Collection, earned a place on the Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection, and was placed on the Bram Stoker Awards Recommended Reading List. Four of the poems from Thirteen Nocturnes were accorded "Recommended" status by Ellen Datlow's annual BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR, VOLUME 11 (2019). (The four poems are: "Demons," "The Trees That Make the Gallows," "Nocturne No. 5," and "Nocturne No. 13," all in this edition.) "A major new voice in the genre of macabre poetry. Sheppard is an impeccable craftsman. [ Thirteen Nocturnes contains] many poems of uniformly high craftsmanship, not to mention creativity.. These are very dark poems indeed, and very inventive in their celebration of darkness and the macabre. As expressed on the back cover, this volume does in fact announce a 'cold poetics of the macabre in the new dark age of the Anthropocene, ' emphasis on that 'po, ' if not Poe himself."-Donald Sidney-Fryer, Spectral Realms "Reading Sheppard's poetry is a little like listening to a conversation between Nietzsche and William Blake during a showing of Peckinpah's Cross of Iron. Using a wide range of forms and cultural references, Sheppard illustrates the human condition in ways that take as much account of its absence as its presence... Given the chance, Sheppard will lead you down dark and unfamiliar paths, to moments of weird beauty." -from the foreword by John Foster "Thirteen Nocturnes is gothic in every sense of the word; from the writing style, the themes, to Oliver's own influences. Without a doubt, this bountiful collection raises the bar for contemporary gothic poetry. It's so rare in this day and age to find poetry written in such a sophisticated and profound manner. Sheppard combines a down-to-earth modernism with an old school style which makes for a fanciful and unique experience for the reader." -Sar Blackthorn, CVLT Nation "Oliver Sheppard is a pretty damn good writer." -Chris Mosley, D Magazine "What I appreciated most in Thirteen Nocturnes was Sheppard's ability to evoke feelings associated with night, darkness, and solitude. They also evoked memories. I appreciate any form of art that can tap into my thoughts and feelings and Sheppard obviously has that ability." -Kurt Morris, Razorcake
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