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Reader's Freebies 1 - Speculative Poetry

Welcome to the first of our Reader's Freebies series, where we share with you links to the best free literature on the web. I'm excited to have the opportunity to start out the series with one of my favorite genre forms, which is speculative fiction poetry.

Speculative poetry is something that I feel has become more popular recently, although it was recognized as a genre nearly a century ago. With the advent of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and the Rhysling Award in the 1970s, speculative poetry managed to create its own niche market right next to speculative fiction. Now, there are a number of online and print journals which offer some pretty amazing poetry that pushes the boundaries of the genre. There are even magazines dedicated solely to speculative poetry.

From a list I compiled of twenty-seven magazines that offer free poetry online, I came up with my top ten. I noticed a trend that most magazines tended to favor fantasy poetry over science fiction or horror, so you're in luck if you love fantastical poetry.

This is by no means a comprehensive list from which I drew my favorites; there are many more places to read this type of poetry, but these are just some that I've enjoyed. They are organized in alphabetical order.

Abyss & Apex – Beautiful, evocative poetry that sings from the page, whether science fiction or fantasy.

Arsenika – Literary speculative poetry that lingers long after the last word.

Bewildering Stories – (Disclaimer: I am the Book Reviews Editor at this magazine, although I have nothing to do with poetry submissions or publications.) Accessible poetry of all lengths and styles, from science fiction to fantasy to horror, from new writers to multiple award-winning poets.

Devilfish Review – This is what I would call story poetry with voice – each poem tells a complete story and often has a wry or whimsical tone behind it, sometimes taking the realistic and veering into the literarily absurd.

Enchanted Conversation – Focused solely on fairy tales, the poetry found in each issue is often dreamlike

and visual, with images that resonate with the reader.

Kalediotrope – Many of the poems contain humor and a compelling twist.

Mirror Dance – From rhymed poems to prose poems, the theme of each collection is some form of fantasy. – Fantasy poetry that ranges from the evocative to the humorous, from modern to mythology.

Outlook Springs – Literary humor with a modern slant, many of the poems take the reasonable and carry it to the absurd.

Stone Telling –Publishing only poetry, this magazine features story poetry with vivid imagery and flashes of humor. Although on hiatus for 2016, the editors plan to reopen in 2017. All the archived issues are available for free online.

I hope you enjoy reading the poetry in these magazines as much as I do.

To read more free poetry, you can also check out my poem "A Menu Proposal" in the latest issue of the Reader's Abode. You can sign up to our mailing list to receive the full collection for free, which also includes speculative short stories by Barbara Russell, Alice S. Hill, Eddie Cantrell and Carly Marino.

Please join us in two weeks' time for a continuation of our Reader's Freebies series. Randall Krzak will be reviewing Ties that Bind by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold. In addition, the review will be followed by a one-on-one interview with Ms. Arnold. See you then!


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