Hi everyone, my name’s Catherine, and today for the Reckoning Press Podcast I’m going to be reading you the poem “Dramatis Personae of the Apocalypse”, which is a poem that appears in Reckoning 6, and it is by the author Avra Margariti.
This is a poem with particularly dark content, I don’t think Avra would argue with that—as you will see when we get to her bio, she is an author who works deeply in horror, and she has an entire collection of horror poetry which is now out from Weasel Press and is titled The Saint of Witches, and if you like what I’m about to read you, you should go check it out. I think one of the things that allows me to read this poem and not descend too far into the darkness (which is not my preferred location, because I’m kind of a scaredy-cat) is that it’s very cleverly structured to be understood as a self-contained short play, a tragedy: and that’s where we get the title, the dramatis personae or players of the play, who are going to take us into this content but then also let us go from it, when the action is over. And we can kind of imagine that the poem is, like, a short interlude: it’s really difficult stuff, but it’s also formal, stylized, there’s a sense that this is something—an entertainment, a frightening one—which is being set to the side of what we might call realism. So even for me, generally a non-horror-reader because I’m so good at freaking myself out without anybody else’s help, I can work with that: and I’m grateful for the vivid starkly lit scenes that Avra shows us here, their argument that in fact there are formal methods for talking about the things that frighten us.
I’m going to proceed to Avra’s bio and then I’ll read you the poem.
Dramatis Personae of the Apocalypse by Avra Margariti