Winds from Sheol by Fred Phillips



  • 2017
  • Paperback: 130 pages



In this impressive follow-up to his previous poetry collection, From the Cauldron (2010), veteran poet Fred Phillips provides a generous smorgasboard of poems of fantasy, horror, and the macabre. Phillips’s verse is marked by metrical precision, imaginative range, and a distinctive melding of brooding horror and emotional poignancy.


Phillips draws upon the rich heritage of weird fiction with poems that reference the work of H. P. Lovecraft (“The Voyage of Randolph Carter”), William Hope Hodgson (“The Launching of the Glen Carrig”), J. R. R. Tolkien (“Master and Pupil”), and other pioneering writers. Elsewhere Phillips skillfully evokes the ancient gods of Egypt, India, Greece, Persia, and the Norsemen in poems that fling the imagination back to eras far distant from the mundane present.


We are in the midst of a spectacular renaissance of weird poetry, and Fred Phillips is a leading voice in this movement—a voice who can summon up dread in a couplet, but who can do far more than merely coin a shudder.


When days feel leaden you must bear alone,

And save your conscience, none to whom to turn,

And in your breast your heart has turned to stone,

Nor is there aught left that you still can learn,

Just when you feel that all you’ve known must end,

There comes at last the handclasp of a friend.

—from “Solitude”