It’s Poetry Friday after Halloween! If you are searching for some spooky good poems for any time of year then check out An Eyeball in My Garden (and Other Spine-tingling Poems) This anthology was compiled and co-edited by Laura D. Wynkoop and Jennifer Cole Judd, who along with other members of The Poetry Garage critique group, sent a collection of spooky poems out on submission. The manuscript was lifted out of the slush pile by Marshall Cavendish and published in the trade book children’s market in 2010. I believe this is the first time any critique group has been published in the trade books. (Full disclosure: I am former member and proud contributor to this poetry effort!)
Here are a few reviews…
“This compilation of new poems covers scary as well as silly Halloween territory. For every truly chilling ghost train, there’s a witch’s shopping list or a monster that turns out to be the speaker’s own reflection. Easily flowing meter in most of the pieces makes for smooth read-alouds. Black-and-white ink illustrations are appropriately spooky.“–Horn Book
The emphasis is more on funny than scary in this slim collection, though a few individual poems may give pause. Stella Michel’s mummy mourns the waste of good ingredients: “Fruit bat wings with Hollandaise, / eyeballs in a demi-glaze” don’t do much good for a monster with no stomach. Edna Cabcabin Moran’s zombie kid tries to catch a baseball, but the impact takes his hand off with the mitt. But in “The Witching Hour,” by Angela McMullen, an unnamed protagonist lies sleepless, hoping to survive till morning, and Wynkoop’s wishing well delivers an “eyeless beast with jagged teeth… / To search for frightened children with its heightened sense of smell.” Co-anthologist Judd is also well-represented here, with a bat-shaped concrete poem among others. While there are chills and chuckles both among these verses, they are mild ones—an additional purchase. –Kirkus (Poetry. 8-12)
Readers should be prepared to shiver and shake through these 44 poems about ghosts, gargoyles, and more. Olander adorns each page with ominous ink images of spiders, monsters, and other terrors, while the verses temper horror (Craig W. Steele’s “Where Nightmares Dwell”: “I know too well/ What creatures lurk/ Where nightmares live and grow…/ The shadows found me years ago!”) with humor (Stella Michel’s “Mummy’s Menu” includes “Blackened pudding filled with flies,/ Crispy scarab beetle pies”). Whether it’s Halloween or not, this creepy collection will please readers with a taste for the supernatural. Ages 9–12. (Aug.) –Publishers Weekly
Enjoy (if you dare) this video created by monstrologist John Olander (whose fine illustrations grace the book from cover to cover) along with the vocal talent of poet Michael Sullivan, author of Spooky, one of the poems in the anthology.
Photo of my poem Zombie Kid Blues here…