Hobgoblin Apollo: The Autobiography of Donald Sidney-Fryer



  • A Life of My Own
  • Includes ODDS & ENDS, the latest poetry collection by Donald Sidney-Fryer
  • ~400 pp
  • Cover artwork by Norman Lindsay. Draft cover shown for illustration only.
  • Trade paperback
  • April 2016


"Hobgoblin runne away with the garland from Apollo"

Gabriel Harvey in a letter to Edmund Spenser, 1580.




“Here is Donald Sidney-Fryer, simultaneously current and antique, winning and strange, and at least in some sense, ‘pure’: pride of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a ‘Hobgoblin Apollo,’ a singer of ‘that old, old song of extasie and woe.’ Donald Sidney-Fryer: real.”

—Jack Foley, author of Visions & Affiliations: A California Literary Time Line, Poets & Poetry


Poet, performing artist, critic, and literary historian, Donald Sidney-Fryer (b. 1934) is the last in the great line of California Romantics that reaches from Ambrose Bierce to George Sterling, from Sterling to his protégé Clark Ashton Smith, and from Smith to his disciple Sidney-Fryer.


In this epochal autobiography, Sidney-Fryer shares his memories of Clark Ashton Smith and Smith’s wife Carol; of working with Arkham House founder August Derleth to publish CAS’s Poems in Prose (which contained Sidney-Fryer’s introduction), as well as Sidney-Fryer’s first collection, Songs and Sonnets Atlantean, the final book to appear from Arkham House under the personal supervision of Derleth; of working with Helen French Hunt, the sister of Nora May French, to resurrect the works of this neglected poet; his long association with fantasy and science fiction great Fritz Leiber; and many other triumphs of a literary life.


Along the way, Sidney-Fryer treats his readers to intimateand occasionally eroticrecollections of a life well lived, pungently related with admirable candor. Aptly compared to Samuel R. Delany’s memoir The Motion of Light in Water, HOBGOBLIN APOLLO will be of interest to poets and poetry readers, Clark Ashton Smith enthusiasts, Arkham House collectors, and those interested in the development of weird literature in the twentieth century and beyond.


As a bonus, ODDS & ENDS, a hundred-page collection comprising Donald Sidney-Fryer's latest poems, the vast majority previously unpublished, is included as an appendix.


Donald Sidney-Fryer is the last surviving member of Clark Ashton Smith's literary circle, and he continues to practice in the tradition of “pure poetry”. Sidney-Fryer’s poetry collections have been praised by Dana Gioia, Michael Dirda, Brian Stableford, and S. T. Joshi, among other luminaries of the field. In the realm of scholarship, Sidney-Fryer’s bio-bibliography of Clark Ashton Smith, Emperor of Dreams—A Clark Ashton Smith Bibliography remains the cornerstone of all Smith studies. Overall, he has written and edited some two dozen books and booklets, including four books by Smith for Arkham House, and three paperbacks, also by Smith, for Pocket Books, in addition to A Vision of Doom, the fifty best poems by Ambrose Bierce, published by Donald M. Grant.


His three volumes of Atlantis poetry were collected by in the omnibus The Atlantis Fragments; in 2011 Sidney Fryer’s novel set in the Atlantis universe appeared. Recent publications include the essay collection The Golden State Phantastics: The California Romantics and Related Subjects, and The Outer Gate: The Collected Poems of Nora May French edited by Sidney Fryer and Alan Gullette. All of these were published by, and are available from, Hippocampus Press.




Current Reviews: 1

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 11 December, 2015.