From staff reports
I Awaken In October: Poems of Folk Horror and Halloween is the debut speculative poetry collection from Leelanau County author Scott J. Couturier, published last October by Jackanapes Press. Couturier is a Rhysling-nominated poet and prose writer of the strange, liminal, and darkly fantastic, whose work has appeared in numerous venues since 2017, including Tales from the Magician’s Skull, Space and Time Magazine, Weirdbook, Cosmic Horror Monthly, and Spectral Realms, the premier speculative poetry journal edited by weird fiction scholar S. T. Joshi. I Awaken In October was nominated for the 2023 Elgin Award, presented yearly by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association.
Couturier’s first collection of weird and horror short stories, The Box, was published in 2022 by Hybrid Sequence Media. Containing 16 stories deriving from the tradition of Poe, Lovecraft, and Michigan’s own Thomas Ligotti, Couturier weaves a sumptuous and compelling tapestry of speculative terrors. The Box appeared on the shortlist ballot for the 2023 Stoker Awards, presented yearly by the Horror Writer’s Association. Couturier works as a developmental and content editor for Mission Point Press, a Traverse City-based publishing house.
Couturier will sign copies of both collections at Horizon Books in Traverse City on October 28, from 1-3 p.m.
I Awaken In October: Poems of Folk Horror and Halloween contains 60 poems evoking themes of seasonal change, supernatural incursion, folk tales and harvest time, autumn, and (above all) Halloween. Featuring a stunning cover and plentiful internal illustrations by Dan Sauer, owner of Jackanapes Press, I Awaken In October is an evocative journey deep into the ember-heart of October, where old memories stir to ghostly life and the crimson fire of leaves sears one’s very soul. Here, primordial spirits stalk the gloaming as jack-o’-lanterns peer from every porch, ghouls howling from graveyard and barrow. In the tradition of the great weird poets Clark Ashton Smith and Edgar Allan Poe, these Gothic paeans to nature’s power, to ghosts and witches and all things weird, will stir your blood to fright on a chill fall night.