Day 4: Linda D. Addison

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Linda D. Addison is a poet and writer of horror, science fiction, and fantasy currently living in Arizona. In 2001, she became the first African-American to win the HWA Bram Stoker award® for superior achievement in poetry for Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes. She has since won the award three additional times, including one for her poetry and short story collection How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend (2011).

Addison has also published over 300 poems, stories, and articles for such publications as Essence Magazine and Asimov’s Science Fiction. Ms. Addison is a founding member of the writer’s group, Circles in the Hair (1990) and is the poetry editor for Space & Time Magazine.

She is also one of the editors for Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of horror fiction and poetry written by black women.

In her collection How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend, her poetry is moody and melodic; the meter weaves a dimly lit path and you feel compelled to follow. The verse itself is seductive, almost playful—the picture of elegant disturbia. The prose included in the book is a combination of sub-genres, and you get a taste of homespun magic along with science fiction-laced Gothic horror. Buy it here.

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For more information about Linda, such as her full bibliography and schedule of events, please visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

 

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Day 1: Helen Oyeyemi

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Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria in 1984, moved to London with her family at age four. She wrote her first novel while at school studying for her A-levels. For those of us from the US, that’s sort of like study for the SAT in order to be considered for entrance into a college or university. Also while still at school, she got a publishing deal and The Icarus Girl, a ghost story about an eight-year-old girl torn between her British and Nigerian identity, hit the shelves.

Her third novel, White is for Witching–described as having “roots in Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe”–was a Shirley Jackson Award Finalist and won a Somerset Maugham Award. Set in Dover off the South East coast of England, the Silver family house has been home to four generations of women, weaving threads that bind them cross time, space, and death. I loved the points of view in this book–the teenage Miranda’s, her twin brother Eliot’s, and yes…the house itself has it’s own voice.

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Readers are divided about White is for Witching, because it is a bold work. Oyeyemi trusts the reader to be able to follow along without explaining every move, every shift she makes in this Gothic tale. It has subtlety, it has a bite that you might not feel until the welt raises on your skin hours later.

Like much of Oyeyemi’s work, White is for Witching is a commentary on beauty, horror, nationality, and race. Her novel Boy, Snow, Bird is an inventive take on the Snow White and Cinderella fairy tales. Her latest release is a collection of short stories, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, which is on my to-read list. 

Since 2014 Oyeyemi has lived in Prague. Find out more about her work on her website.

28 Days of Black Women in Horror History

This February—which is both Black History Month and more recently, Women in Horror Month—I wanted to do something special to celebrate both.

Luckily, Ashlee Blackwell of Graveyard Shift Sisters asked if I’d be interested in collaborating with her on a project. I said, “Yes! Would love to.” Only later did I ask, “What is it?”

Well, here’s the reveal: 28 Days of Black Women in Horror History.

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Each day in February, both Ashlee and I will post a brief bio, photo, and links to these horror sisters. Ashlee will focus on television and film on the Graveyard Shift Sisters site, while I focus on novels, short stories, and poetry here on my blog The Dark Geisha. We’ll throw in any other fun tidbits we find into each post too.

We’ll use the hashtags #Blackwomeninhorror and #WiHM8 in each post. Make sure you do too when you comment and share the posts because there are prizes!

Prizes, you ask? Oooh!

There’s a contest for readers/supporters who actively use the hashtags listed above across social media highlighting their favorite Black women in horror history. Share pictures and/or links of their work with the hashtags. Remember, this is to celebrate us across all media platforms, so include authors, actors, visual artists, directors, and publishers.

Ashlee’s prize: Two of the most actively engaged will receive GSS swag along with the exclusive tote, and a copy of Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight on DVD.

My Prize: One of the most actively engaged will receive a tote bag from Colors in Darkness, the online spot for speculative fiction authors of color, along with a copy of Jewel Parker Rhodes’ Voodoo Dreams. Another actively engaged participant will receive a copy each of Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Jewel Parker Rhodes’ Voodoo Dreams.

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Come on in…the water’s fine.

Tune into my blog and Graveyard Shift Sisters site beginning February 1st for 28 Days of Black Women in Horror History and celebrate with us.