Diary of a Sorceress by Ashley Dioses

$15.00

 

  • October 2017
  • 158 pages
  • ISBN 978-1-61498-206-7
  • Cover art and interior illustrations by Steve Santiago (draft shown)

 

 

The young poet Ashley Dioses has already established herself as a leading voice in contemporary weird poetry. Known for her meticulous use of rhyme and meter, her deft melding of the strange and the erotic, and her novel treatments of such age-old themes as the vampire, the witch, and the ghoul, Dioses now gathers the best of her recent poetry into her first collection—a scintillating assemblage of nearly 100 poems short and long, published and unpublished.

 

With this single volume, Ashley Dioses takes her place as a worthy successor to the long line of California Romantics, beginning with Ambrose Bierce, Clark Ashton Smith, and Nora May French, and carrying on with Donald Sidney-Fryer and K. A. Opperman (The Crimson Tome), with whom she has worked closely.

 

Ashley Dioses is a poet from Southern California whose work has appeared widely in print and online venues, including Spectral Realms, Weirdbook, Weird Fiction Review, and HWA Poetry Showcase.

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Praise for Diary of a Sorceress

These lapidary selections reveal a practiced auctorial hand and a keen and enshadowed imagination. . . . From the first selection to the last, the poet conducts us on a wild and innovative tour of beauty and horror.—From Donald Sidney-Fryer’s introduction

I have no doubt that Ashley Dioses is an important and distinctive voice in weird poetry. She may be at the beginning of her career, but she can already take her place with Ann K. Schwader, Wade German, and Adam Bolivar as one of the shining lights in this field.—S. T. Joshi

The title of this collection is spot-on: for if ever there was a sorceress of imagery and language, that poet is the magnificent Ashley Dioses. I am overjoy’d to have this new book in my trembling hand.—W. H. Pugmire, author of Monstrous Aftermath: Stories in the Lovecraftian Tradition

West Coast Romanticism takes a Gothic turn in these richly imagined verses.  Crafted in the tradition of Clark Ashton Smith and George Sterling — yet with a fresh, vibrantly female spirit—voices often missing from the dark fantastic speak out clearly.  Witch or valkyrie, selkie or sorceress, each has her own story . . . and the right amanuensis.  Ashley Dioses delivers an addictive blend of myth, shadow-dream, and pure emotion.—Ann K. Schwader, author of Dark Energies

With incantations both delicate and potent, Dioses’ Sorceress teases secrets from the moon and stars, the nightshade and the lily, the creatures of myth and the gilded rogues gallery headed by Lady Bathory. In this exquisite debut, the object of love may be ever-elusive, but the passion it inspires is eternal.—Kyla Lee Ward, author of The Land of Bad Dreams

From fae to fantastic, from vampires to Valkyries, from Medusa, moons and maenads, from ghouls and graveyards to selkies and sirens, Ashley Dioses’ weird poetry, in sonnet, rondel and other forms, runs the gamut of hellish themes. The inclusion here of tributes to such writers as Poe, Beckford, Le Fanu, Chambers, Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, and even to Sacher-Masoch, Richard Gavin and Donald Sidney-Fryer, does not detract from Dioses’ originality of voice. The epic “Atop the Crystal Moon” alone is worth the price of admission. This first collection by a young weird poet proves her a mistress of sorcerous sensuality, weaving a witchery of words that will captivate and enchant.—Leigh Blackmore, author of Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses

Nicely spooky stuff, vivid and atmospheric. The poetry of Ashley Dioses makes me wish I were still editing Weird Tales. She would have been a natural there.—Darrell Schweitzer, author of The Shattered Goddess

Dioses has conjured a collection in the style of C.A. Smith, yet with a fresh perspective that works so well. Her “dark diary” expands as we go. Some notable favorites: “Night Play” where she sees Pegasus with “eyes like molten gold”;  you’ll be entranced by the magic of her long poem, “Atop the Crystal Moon” and shiver after reading “Bat in the Boiler Room” with lines such as “Beyond the halls invisible in gloom/ the bat hung waiting in the boiler room”. A remarkable collection, recommended!—Marge Simon, Bram Stoker Award winner of Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls

Ashley Dioses’ poetry collection sings with a classical style that’s accessible, not dated. Each of the four entry sections in this Diary of a Sorceress delivers a different version of magical beings, fantastic creatures, desire and blood offerings. The poems unwind like spells, seducing the reader with beautifully formed language. Flowers fill shadowy nights with scents of death and struggling life pressed between pages, withered, yet fragrant. Come dream a dreamer’s dream of longing with Dioses.—Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend

Here for your delectation, youthful passionate lyric verses of darkness and dread, the greater number of them having a surprisingly upbeat tone as though Love in the key of Gloom means eternal romance, if not High Fetish. Additionally the poet has a delight in Thesauric Discoveries for Goths!—Jessica Amanda Salmonson, author of Anthony Shriek

With Diary of a Sorceress, Ashley Dioses displays a rare magic with words, assembled into poems that are really spells. Whether she’s conjuring a lustful Maenad, the Blood Countess, or lost Carcosa, these enchantments are dark, lush, wondrous, disturbing, and completely hypnotic.—Lisa Morton, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Samhanach and Other Halloween Treat

Ashley Dioses is one of the brightest talents of the new generation of poets working in the weird verse tradition and a collection of her work is something to be welcomed and treasured.—Pete Atkins, screenwriter of Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Wishmaster

Ashley Dioses’ debut, Diary of a Sorceress, is rich with macabre, lyrical imagination. It opens doors to beauty, and labyrinths fraught with radiant blasphemies. Her poetry rests comfortably beside that of Weird Tales, Arkham House, Ann K. Schwader, and Richard L. Tierney.—Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., editor of The Madness of Dr. Caligari

There is delicate music in Diary of a Sorceress by Ashley Dioses. Written in traditional forms, Diary is a promising first volume from a new fantasy poet. Filled with uncanny love potions to her beloved, delicious and captivating lines, and rhythmical tributes to Poe, George Sterling, C. A. Smith, and Robert Chambers, Diary of a Sorceress shows meter is continuing its fine resurgence in modern weird poetry, and in the work of Ashley Dioses.—Charles Lovecraft, Publisher & Editor, P’rea Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction  

Prelude: My Dark Diary  

I. Entry One: Atop the Crystal Moon  
 Diary of a Sorceress  
 Entry One  
 Letters to a Sorcerer  
 A Sorcerous Tome  
 The Glass Vial  
 Witch Lord of the Hunt  
 Labyrinthine King
 Midnight Strides  
 Night Play
 Moon Enchantress  
 Atop the Crystal Moon  
 Dragonspeak  
 Scarlet Autumn Aurora  
 Fire Sprite  
 Lord of the Deep  
 Selkie  
 Fallen Atlantis  
 Medusa’s Mirror  
 Morning’s Moon  
 Lady Death  

 II. Entry Two: Kiss the Stars  
 A Sea of Snow and Frost  
 The Abandoned Garden  
 Graveyard Blossom  
 Under the Chrysanthemums  
 Calla Lilies  
 Black-Veined Whites  
 Vapors  
 The Perfect Rose  
 The Dwelling Place  
 The Moon  
 Kiss the Stars  
 Celestial Mysteries  
 The Hands of Chaos  

III. Entry Three: Star Lighting  
 One Winter Eve  
 To an Unknown Mistress  
 A Queen in Hell  
 Ever Fair  
 Star Lighting  
 Lover’s Witch  
 Witch’s Love  
 Enchantress  
 Dark Poet of My Heart  
 Dark Valentine  
 Dark Valentine II  
 My Dark Valentine  
 The Celebration of Dreams  
 The Fires of Summer  
 Rondel to My Love  
 Sky Fallen Maiden  
 A Sorceress’s Love  
 A Lover’s Sorceress  
 Panic  
 Maenads  
 They Sing in Whispers  
 A Glamorous Touch  
 Prisoner of Love  
 On Amaranthine Lips  
 Sweet Renegade  
 Siren’s Song  
 Sephora  
 Can I Stop Your Heart?  

IV. Entry Four: On a Dreamland’s Moon  
 Daemonolatry  
 Goetia  
 The Black Goddess  
 Ligeia  
 Ghoul Mistress
 My Corpse, My Groom  
 A Valkyrie’s Vendetta  
 The Rotting Goddess  
 Nyarlathotep  
 On a Dreamland’s Moon  
 Nitokris  
 Winter Witch  
 The Necro-Conjuring Sorceress  
 Narda the Czarina  
Castle Csejthe  
 Painted in Blood  
 Bathory in Red  
 I Nadia  
 II Bat in the Boiler Room  
 III Black Orchid  
 IV The Power of the Sun  
 Blood Siren’s Alcove  
 Anthropomancy  
 Carathis  
 Twisted Trails of Thought  
 Lady in Black Velvet  
 Mircalla  
 With a Love So Vile  
 The Easter Lily  
 Even Madness Cannot Hide  
 Horror  
 The Medallion  
 Ilvaa  
 Saturn  
 Vexteria  
 A Sorceress’s Final Vision  

 Tributes  
 A Page From Jack’s Diary, by Adam Bolivar  
 My Lady of the Nightshade Flower, by K. A. Opperman  
 Upon Reading Diary of a Sorceress, by Michael Fantina  
 Ashiel’s Garden, by D. L. Myers  

 Afterword  

 Acknowledgments