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Michael Arnzen's Weird Newsletter

+++Vol. 11.1 | August 2016+++

Uncanny Reflections


FREAKCIDENTS: A Surrealist Sideshow
Available in EBOOK and AUDIOBOOK for the first time!


Longtime readers probably have heard of Freakcidents ( – my collection of impossible mutants and truly freaky freaks. It's like American Horror Story, only weirder, and in poetic form. Originally published in a very limited run of hardcovers and chapbooks by the now-defunct Shocklines Press, the book won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection before it went out of print and disappeared into the velvet-lined coffins of collectors. Well, now it's available for everyone in two new formats: an ebook for the kindle, and audiobook where you can hear me recite the poems as you read along.

$3.99 ebook from

$3.95 audiobook from

You can learn more about the book and listen to three sample poems over on the Mastication Publications website.

“Freakcidents is fun, tight, thought-provoking and challenging with each ooze and scream. This volume should very much be looked upon as the watershed moment for modern horror poetry. Buy it.” – Lurid Lit

“Michael A. Arnzen, award winning poet and fiction writer, can always be counted on to approach the grotesque and the visceral with wit and, often, compassion….but be prepared: Arnzen doesn't hold back, and his imagery is both visceral and explicit. Freakcidents is smart, nasty, and very well-written - horror poetry doesn't get much better than this.” – Tim Pratt, Star*line


and Other Arnzen News (

The BIG news is that you can now stream/download two new albums of spoken word madness at !

Read about Audiovile: Expanded Digital Edition & Poedown Live featured elsewhere in this newsletter and uncover a discount code just for you.

Many little things have been published here and there since last time…and more weirdness is always to come. Here are my faves:

* My mock book proposal for a new adult coloring book, “Grow the F*ck Up,” was published by McSweeney's. Find out how I really feel about the trend of adult coloring books on the blog.

* I'm one of the featured poets in the upcoming Horror Poetry Showcase Vol. III, from the Horror Writers Association . It should be out any day now. I was interviewed by Stephanie Wytovich about this, and you can read the featured poems on the HWA website.

* I've had a batch of poems appear recently at The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly. What's cool about the 5-2 is that the poems appear in both text and audio recitation. Here's all my contributions, including two new poems and my recent interview with Sara Tantlinger:

* You'll see a special return of Proverbs for Monsters from Dark Regions Press in the months to come! Can you believe it's the 10th anniversary of this book's publication soon?

* “55 Ways I'd Prefer Not to Die” – which is fifty-five microfictions, each 55 words long, will appear this fall in 555 Vol. 2: This Head, These Limbs, from Carrion Blue 555.

Here's one of them, to illustrate how strange this is:

When the roller coaster plunges, people always throw their arms up above them like they are making jazz hands in the face of oblivion, while everyone else clutches the guard bar. Not me. I choke the throat of the person in front of me and bottle up their scream to make a human air bag.

Gorelets: Unpleasant Poems


Easter ended.
The marshmallow pets
were no longer marshy
and not nearly mellow
enough to sell.
Thousands of little animal
stiffs in plastic.
I took the palette
behind my outlet store
and burned the whole stock
in a funeral pyre
of melting chicks and bunnies.
Their eyes popped
and the hundreds
of bodies writhed,
browning together
into a gore of s'mores,
for a moment looking like
a many-headed beast
made of larva and lava
sparking into life
in the angry bonfire.
I forgot all about my peeps.
Until the following Easter's

Meet Mike Arnzen

DogCon 5
Oct 1-2, 2016 | Broadkill Resort, DE
Raw Doggers at the Beach

AWP 17
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
Feb 8-11, 2017 | Washington, DC
Meet Seton Hill U at the Bookfair

StokerCon 2017
April 27-30, 2017 | Long Beach, CA
We All Float…on the Queen Mary!

Thanks to everyone who visited with me at WHC16 and StokerCon this past Spring!

Events sometimes pop up between newsletters so be sure to check the weblog once in a while for upcoming events


The Fridge of the Damned ( magnetic poetry collection continues to entertain and amuse me, especially when I mix the tiles in with other sets. If you haven't seen the FotD gallery over on Flickr yet, about 250+ poems like the above await your browsing pleasure!

Get yours and send me a snapshot!


“Expanded Digital Edition” on bandcamp!

Poetry Slam: Arnzen vs. Wytovich Live!

Originally released as a CD in 2007 by Raw Dog Screaming Press, Audiovile was an experiment in breaking the conventional horror audiobooks into something…unique. This “performance-art piece of manic Beatnik horror” (Dead Reckonings) featured a number of stories read from 100 Jolts, reconcpetualized as musical performances.

I invite you to give it another listen . The newly “Expanded Digital Edition” includes high quality digital versions of all the tracks, and then DOUBLES the size of the original release, featuring performances you won’t hear anywhere else – from the “Plaid Flannel Mix” of Psycho Hunter to the banjo-and-bass jam session with Jason Jack Miller that created the foundation of Dreamachinery, it's like a whole new experience.

Stream a sample on my new bandcamp page. When you purchase the full album, you get access to BONUS FEATURES: notably — an ebook companion, a photograph gallery and a secret bonus track.

Bandcamp has a great feature where you can send digital music as gifts – good idea!

Also, while supplies last, you can purchase a signed copy of the original CD bundled with your order of the digital edition. Act quick!

Read this great review of Audiovile at Gravediggers Local 16

POEDOWN is both a poetry slam inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and a live audio performance captured shortly before the release of both Stephanie Wytovich's ( breakout horror poetry collection, Hysteria, and Arnzen’s Gorelets Omnibus, both from Raw Dog Screaming Press.

What makes this event special is not just the raw passion and combative energy of their reading (which is at times deeply hilarious and others truly disturbing) but also the way the event inaugurated a ritual that has continued over the past five years: whenever Arnzen and “Wyto” share the stage, they come ready to read a new horror piece on an agreed upon theme. Buy this album on bandcamp and you’ll not only get an exclusive companion ebook but also bonus tracks featuring an example of their recent “slam” on the topic of “scary clowns.” A few rare, signed double-live CDs are also still available on the “merch” page ( .

You get a cool companion ebook and also a copy of this flyer from the original slam event at DV8 as hidden bonus items when you pay for the album.

You can see a few photos and hear samples, too, on the original blog post about the Poedown back in 2012.
DISCOUNT CODE FOR SUBSCRIBERS: 15% OFF anything at (Must subscribe for coupon)



Kudos to writer Joe-la Dowdy, who over on The Petulant Muse weblog just published her 365th creative entry, marking a full year of dark flash fiction and devious poems – all inspired by the prompts in my book, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side!

Joe-la wins the first #Instigation365 badge. Will you be the next? The ebook is available for every kind of ebook reading device.

*** And here's a few new instigation prompts for you, based on Joe-la's achievement:

+ Pick a random commemorative day of the year from the convenient list at wikipedia ( . Now add the word “death” or “blood” to it and write a description of a party held on this sick new holiday.

+ It's the Golden Wedding Anniversary for an undead married couple! The traditional gift to mark this occasion is not gold, however, but FLESH. What variations on this theme do they exchange, and how/where do they celebrate this dark ritual?
+ Depict the deadly battle between competing clowns who show up at the same birthday party.
+ Craft the annual journal entries of a serial killer (perhaps from his prison cell) who marks the date of his first kill by writing about it every year.
+ Write a “Groundhog Day” scenario as if it were “Groundhog Year” – repeating the same year again upon the protagonist's birthday. How will they break the cycle?
+ Imagine if there were a SECOND Halloween each year: Neo-Hallows. What would this new holiday celebrate and how?
+ Title for your next creative piece: “The Year of Living Derangedly”

As You Like It...

If you liked 100 Jolts
You'll like Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Frederic Brown

If you liked Paratabloids
You'll like If the Tabloids are True What are You by Matthea Harvey

If you liked The Gorelets Omnibus
You'll like Underwater Fistfight by Matt Betts

If you liked Proverbs for Monsters
You'll like Madhouse edited by Brad C. Hodson & Benjamin Kane Ethridge


THANK YOU FOR READING THE GORELETTER! This is the first issue of 2016 (yes, it's been 6 months since the last one), and I appreciate your continued subscription. The newsletter has been publishing since 2002 – that's 14 years! A dog's lifetime! Read ALL the back issues in the Repository

Or look into the book, The Gorelets Omnibus (get the hardcover, for sure), for key selections of the best horror poetry and fiction that has appeared in this Bram Stoker Award-winning missive.

Michael Arnzen is now on Instagram @mikearnzen:


“Laughter is an experience of Schadenfreude with a clean conscience.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, died 1900


Read the back issues ( !

Copyright 2016, Michael A. Arnzen - All rights reserved

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* Due to the temporary nature of internet URLs, some websites mentioned in back issues of the Goreletter may no longer be live, or may also point to unscrupulous web servers. I will denote these with overstrikes as I discover them, but if you encounter a dead, changed or unscrupulous link, please feel free to inform me.
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* Arnzen's blog is now located at Visit it for breaking news and extras not appearing in The Goreletter.

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goreletter/reflections.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/02 01:11 by marnzen

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