Good Morning, folks!
Today in the Madhouse, I'm sitting down with two of my favorite poets, Marge Simon and Bryan D. Dietrich, to discuss their upcoming poetry collection The Demeter Diaries. Now as a long-standing vampire fan--and a girl who has been mistaken for them about a half dozen times in her life--when I first found out about this book, I was turning-over-in-my-grave excited! I'm a sucker (ha) for those pale, suave monsters, and whether they're rocking a leather jacket like in The Lost Boys or dancing in candlelight like in Interview with the Vampire, chances are, I'm swooning and terrified somewhere in a corner watching it all happen.
NowThe Demeter Diaries is a record of love and longing and the inevitable horror that arises between the minds of Mina Harker and Vlad Dracula as they court one another in waking dreams. The dialogue, written in both poetry and prose, imagines a psychic connection that develops between the two even before Dracula arrives in England. As Dracula makes his way from Transylvania to Whitby on the doomed ship Demeter, the two would-be lovers transmit their thoughts across the waves and lands that separate them, alternately wooing and terrifying one another with the idea of love eternal and all the dark delicacies necessary to ensure it. Imagining the ultimate freedom of two beings bound together in darkness, the story reaches a very different climax than the one Stoker imagined.
What a wonderful idea for a poetry collection! Bryan Dietrich and Marge Simon have collaborated on The Demeter Diaries, a conversation in poetry between Mina and Vlad from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Vlad's lines are suitably tight, classical, the use of enjambment tightly locking the lines together and emphasizing Vlad's considered choice of words--after all, he's had a few extra decades to think about them. Mina's lines are long and prose-like, evoking her enthusiastic romanticism with a kind of breathlessness. It's well-suited to her part in this dramatic dialogue, allowing her to show off her lady's education and quote from her reading (in this case segments of the poetry of Keats and Poe). Simon and Dietrich appropriately end the sequence with two poems in parallel, with short lines from each alternating down the page as the lovers call and respond. An impressive collaboration. –Steve Rasnic Tem, Multiple Stoker and International Horror Guild Author
“A cool and very creative interpretation of Bram Stoker’s voyage of the Demeter.” —Dacre Stoker, great grandnephew of Bram Stoker, co-author of DRACUL.