first print story


Happy National Book Lovers Day, feat. my cyberpunk collection & second bookshelf

“I try for a poetic language that says, This is who we are, where we have been, where we are. This is where we must go. And this is what we must do.”

Poet and writer Mari Evans initially gained fame in 1970 when her second collection of poetry, I Am a Black Woman, was published. “The volume heralded the arrival of a poet who took her subject matter from the black community,” Wallace R. Peppers wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography, “and who celebrated its triumphs, especially the focus on the beauty of blackness that characterized the black arts and civil rights movements, and who would mourn its losses, especially the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.” Since then, Evans has published several volumes of poetry and children’s books, and written for television, radio, and the theater. Her work has appeared in over 30 textbooks and has been translated into several languages, including German, Swedish, French, and Dutch.

Evans was born on July 16, 1923, in Toledo, Ohio. As she was growing up, her father was her greatest influence. Evans recalled in the essay “My Father’s Passage,” which was included in Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation, that her father saved her “first printed story, a fourth-grade effort accepted by the school paper, and carefully noted on it the date, our home address, and his own proud comment.” After attending public school in Toledo, Evans enrolled at the University of Toledo, where she majored in fashion design. However, the subject did not hold her attention for long, and she left without taking a degree.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, Evans began to make her name in the public arena. From 1965 to 1966, she was a John Hay Whitney fellow. Three years later, she received a Woodrow Wilson Foundation grant. From 1968 to 1973, Evans was the producer, director, and writer for the highly acclaimed television program “The Black Experience” for WTTV in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1968, Evans published her first volume of poetry, Where Is All the Music? Like many African American poets of the time, she celebrated her heritage while rejecting the conciliatory attitude of African American poets from the 1920s and 1930s. “Though she was born during the Harlem Renaissance, Mari Evans’ poetry reveals little of the inclination toward compromise with white values and forms that was cherished by most black intellectuals of that period,” Alan R. Shu-card wrote in Contemporary Poets. “Quite the contrary, her work is informed by the uncompromising black pride that burgeoned in the 1960s.” In the poem “Who Can Be Born Black,” Evans showed her awareness of the differences between Harlem Renaissance poets and poets of her own generation. Evans’ poem is a response to Countee Cullen’s mid-1920s sonnet, “Yet Do I Marvel,” a long list of the horrors God has created, the worst of which is “To make a poet black, and bid him sing.” In contrast, Evans wrote, “Who/can be born black/and not/sing/the wonder of it/the joy/the/challenge… Who/can be born black/and not exult!”

In 1970 Evans published her second poetry collection entitled I Am a Black Woman, which brought her wide critical attention, and an award for the most distinguished book of poetry by an Indiana writer. Each of the poems in the collection is written from the viewpoint of a different character, and marked her movement toward more politically-based poetry. This is most evident in her third volume of poetry, Night star: 1973-1978, which was published in 1981. “At the heart of Mari Evans’ Nightstar is a questioning of the ways in which we know ourselves and are known, and a recognition of the subtleties of identity,” Romey T. Keys wrote in the book’s introduction. “Her language can compass a range of people and things, sounds and sights, places and times.”

Evans launched her academic career in 1969, which has included positions at several prestigious universities. From 1969 to 1970, she was an instructor in African American literature and writer in residence at Indiana University-Purdue. The following year, Evans moved to Bloomington, Indiana, and accepted a job as assistant professor of African American literature and writer in residence at Indiana University. She taught at Indiana University until 1978. From 1972 to 1973, she combined her job at Indiana University with an appointment as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her academic career continued with teaching appointments at Purdue University from 1978 to 1980, at Washington University in St. Louis in 1980, at Cornell University from 1981 to 1985, and at the State University of New York-Albany from 1985 to 1986. Evans has also taught at Miami University-Coral Gables, and Spelman College in Atlanta.

Apart from the world of academia, Evans has served as a consultant to several organizations. From 1969 to 1970 she worked with the Discovery Grant Program for the National Endowment for the Arts. She also served as a consultant in ethnic studies for the Bobbs-Merrill Publishing Company from 1970 to 1973.

In addition to poetry, Evans has written plays, essays, and short fiction. Choreographed versions of two of her plays, A Hand Is on the Gate and Walk Together Children, have had successful off-Broadway runs. She has written several books for children, including J.D.(1973),/ Look at Me! (1974), Singing Black (1976), and Jim Flying High (1979). Evans also edited an anthology, Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation, which was published in 1984.

By the mid-1980s, Evans’ place in the annals of African American literature was assured. As Peppers wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography: “Her volumes of poetry, her books for adolescents, her work for television and other media, and her recently published volume on black women writers between 1950 and 1980 ensure her a lasting place among those who have made significant contributions to Afro-American life and culture.” Evans now writes children’s books that concentrate on black history and culture for the younger population.  The most important of her countless awards for writing came in 1981 when she received the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award.  Evans’ impact on Africa was reflected in 1997 when the Ugandan government issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor. Mari Evans is also an activist for prison reform, and is against corporal punishment. She currently works with theater groups and local community organizations.

What is the Circle of Hell?

As darkness falls across the land, do you feel that creeping, crawling sensation in the night? When you look at your reflection in the mirror is what blinks back something strange and unfamiliar?  Rotting shadows are now lurking: hungry and menacing. The gates to the underworld have been thrown wide and the hounds have been let loose! The Circle of Hell is now open and we’ve reserved a spot for you!

The Circle of Hell is looking for artists ready to take up the challenge! Searching for those artists who embrace the dark, the twisted and the fantastic! The Circle of Hell is a new horror anthology series made to appeal to classic horror lovers everywhere! We’re looking to match the tone and depth of such classic stories from Tales from the Crypt, Eerie, Creepy, Twilight Zone just to name a few…

Creepy. Weird. Horror. From sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary and beyond, as long as the stories match these themes, the sky’s the limit and the setting doesn’t matter.

And just like some of those old magazines, the book will also accept prose and illustrations. But comics are the major focus and will take priority.


1. Stories must be self contained. No ongoings.

2. The deadline for submissions is September 1st, 2016. Entries must be finished before the deadline. We will not accept late and unfinished work. NO EXCEPTIONS.

3. Comic sans is a sin that even the Circle of Hell frowns upon. All fonts whether hand lettered or digital and must be legible.

4. Comics do not have page limits though quality is expected over quantity and entries may be rejected on this basis. Prose on the other hand is limited to ten pages max per entry. And the book will have a maximum ten illustrations/pinups so slots are limited.


1. Comic will be black and white with the exception of the cover. So no color entries.

2. The book will be standard American Comic size which is 6.625 x 10.25 in.  The bleed is 1/8 in. so pages need to be 6.875 x 10.5 in, just keep in mind that when it’s trimmed it’ll be 6.625 x 10.25 in.  Keep type at least ¼" away from the trimmed edge because there is a risk of it being cut off evcayse if ybfireseeb orubutbg errors.

3. Files should be .tiff but no less than 300 DPI.

4. Do not add page numbers on the bottom of the page as that will be added by the editor during production of the book.

5. Authors are required to include their names (or however they wish their names to appear in publication, a short personal bio paragraph and a link to a body of work if available. As for pictures of the authors, you may include a real actualized picture, an exaggerated caricature or particularly one suited to Circle of Hell. The pictures sent must be 250 x 250 and no less than 300 DPI.

Things to Avoid

We want to avoid excessively graphic content. Even the Circle of Hell has SOME moral standards. We do not accept entries that contain the following;

Torture/Hardcore Porn

Sexual Violence

Excessive Gore (though some blood and implications thereof are allowed)

Hateful depictions of gender, race, sexuality, etc.  We reserve the right to reject entries based on quality and content so please keep it tasteful.

The Circle of Hell aims for the souls of 13 years and older so keep that in mind.


Contributors whose submissions are accepted will receive contributor copies. 

Creator Rights

Intellectual property rights remain with the creators. Your creations are yours. With submission should come the understanding that I have the right to print and reprint stories within the context of this book. Submissions that are accepted also cede their exclusive worldwide rights for first time print of the story for a full year after the book has been printed. In other words, your story should appear here first and nowhere else until time has passed.  Submissions that are not accepted still return to the creators with no strings attached.  Previews are acceptable in order to generate hype for the book.

Once the submissions period is over, I’ll be using kickstarter to fund and publish the book.

For any further questions, please email me at


Let’s learn together about Edgar Allan Poe and his work. 30

Metzengerstein, also called “Metzengerstein: A Tale In Imitation of the German”, was the first short story by American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe to see print. It was first published in the pages of Philadelphia’s Saturday Courier magazine, in 1832. The story follows the young Frederick, the last of the Metzengerstein family who carries on a long-standing feud with the Berlifitzing family. Suspected of causing a fire that kills the Berlifitzing family patriarch, Frederick becomes intrigued with a previously-unnoticed and untamed horse. Metzengerstein is punished for his cruelty when his own home catches fire and the horse carries him into the flame.

Edit by me | Please dont remove anything | For more here 

“Metzengerstein” follows many conventions of Gothic fiction and, to some, exaggerates those conventions. Because of this, critics and scholars debate if Poe intended the story to be taken seriously or as a satire of Gothic stories. Regardless, many elements introduced in “Metzengerstein” would become common in Poe’s future writing, including the gloomy castle and the power of evil. Because the story follows an orphan raised in an aristocratic household, some critics suggest an autobiographical connection with its author. The story was submitted as Poe’s entry to a writing contest at the Saturday Courier. Though it did not win, the newspaper published it in January 1832. It was re-published with Poe’s permission only twice during his lifetime; its subtitle was dropped for its final publication. Poe intended to include it in his collection Tales of the Folio Club or another called Phantasy Pieces, though neither collection was ever produced.