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Thirteen Nocturnes by Oliver Sheppard - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Thirteen Nocturnes
by Oliver Sheppard

Gothic, Dark Poetry

Combining lush Gothic lyricism with postmodern experimentation, Oliver
Sheppard's second collection of verse, Thirteen Nocturnes, presents a
nightmare vision of a world in the grip of apocalypse and shadow--a
world where "a nighttime of years never-ending" becomes "a
darkness severe and unbending," and where life is relentlessly
"gathered up against the towering shadow of decay." Taking
cues from the dark Romanticism of Poe, the decadent Symbolism of
Baudelaire, and the apocalyptic tradition of William Blake--as well
as the existential doominess of 20th century cosmic horror--Oliver
Sheppard's Thirteen Nocturnes presents a verse vision of collapse,
announcing a cold poetics of disintegration in the new dark age of
the Anthropocene. 

"Reading Sheppard's poetry is a little like listening to a conversation
between Nietzsche and William Blake during a showing of Peckinpah's
Cross of Iron. Using a wide range of forms and cultural references,
Sheppard illustrates the human condition in ways that take as much
account of its absence as its presence... Given the chance, Sheppard
will lead you down dark and unfamiliar paths, to moments of weird
beauty." --from the foreword by John Foster


Night — A Sonnet

Skies turn black; hedgerows grow grey; shadows fall;
                    Objects disintegrate, fading from view.
Visions arise of a world 'neath a pall;
                    Twilight replaces the world we once knew.
The earth turns its face away from the sun.
                    Across the sky the moon shines but dimly.
Daylight showed life once, but now there is none—
                    Neither daylight nor life, but nighttime grimly.

Silence blooms, gath'ring all in its calyx—
                    Shadows fall; hedgerows grow grey; skies turn black—
Ere Chaos was Nothing, Night's pure radix
                    Might be seen could we but turn the clock back.
                                        And all would behold, at last, in their sight,
                                        A portrait of Death as perfect as Night.

[1] "Out of Chaos came Darkness and black Night, and out of Night came Light and Day, her children conceived after union in love with Darkness." — Hesiod, Theogony, 700 BCE

Oliver Sheppard was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and lives in Texas.
Critical reviews of his poetry collections have been kind: "Like
listening to a conversation between Nietzsche and William Blake while
watching Peckinpah's 'Cross of Iron'," reviews of his first
book, Destruction: Text I, claimed. Garnering accolades from academia
and punk zines alike, Sheppard's work takes cues from the cosmic
fatalism of Lovecraft and Thomas Ligotti, and combines that with the
lush, Gothic lyricism of the Dark Romanticist tradition.

"Sheppard's THIRTEEN NOCTURNES is gothic in every sense of the word; from the
writing style, the themes, to Oliver's own influences. Without a
doubt, this bountiful collection raises the bar for contemporary
gothic poetry. It's rare in this day and age to find poetry written
in a manner as sophisticated and profound as this. But
here, Sheppard combines a down-to-earth modernism with older styles
that make for a fanciful and unique experience for the reader."--Sar Blackthorn, CVLT Nation

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, teasers and a giveaway!

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