Requiem for a Siren: Women Poets of the Pulps

Edited by Jaclyn Youhana Garver and Michael W. Phillips Jr.

Edgar Allan Poe may be the first writer to come to mind when you think about horror poetry, and he may well be the last. But there’s way more to the genre than quoting ravens. 

During the heyday of pulp magazines (the 1920s through the 1950s), horror poetry appealed to all readers and writers—not just men. At least a quarter of Weird Tales readers were women, and across 30 years of original, published pulp poetry, a third of the writers were women.

Requiem for a Siren collects 101 poems by almost 50 women published in the pages of Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and other pulps. The mothers and godmothers of the genre, these women composed striking lyrics of death, monsters, hauntings, and nightmares. Some names you might recognize, like Mary Elizabeth Counselman, Dorothy Quick, and Leah Bodine Drake. Hopefully, you’ll discover new favorites, too. 

So keep your damn ravens in their cages, and come on over for some of this “hot unhallowed lust for beauty.” You won’t be sorry.

Here’s a sample!

“Quest Unhallowed” by Anice Page Cooper
Weird Tales, March 1945

Mortal lips will never touch you,
Mortal eye nor hand nor thigh nor breast
Give you comfort of delight of loving,
Give you ecstasy or rest.

Thrall to phantom lips that sear you,
Burn your trembling flesh with lips designed
For the angels, eyes whose lonely glory
Strikes you impotent and blind.

Stumbling through your finite paces
Hounded by a dream, you’ll pray to die,
End this hot unhallowed lust for beauty
Mortals may not live to spy.


Release Date: October 31, 2024