May 30, 2024:

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Queer Little Nightmares

Queer Little Nightmares

Queer Little Nightmares

​​The fiction and poetry of Queer Little Nightmares reimagines monsters old and new through a queer lens, subverting the horror gaze to celebrate ideas and identities canonically feared in monster lit. Throughout history, monsters have appeared in popular culture as stand-ins for the non-conforming, the marginalized of society. Pushed into the shadows as objects of fear, revulsion, and hostility, these characters have long conjured fascination and self-identification in the LGBTQ+ community, and over time, monsters have become queer icons In Queer Little Nightmares, creatures of myth and folklore seek belonging and intimate connection, cryptids challenge their outcast status, and classic movie monsters explore the experience of coming into queerness. The characters in these stories and poems – the Minotaur camouflaged in a crowd of cosplayers, a pubescent werewolf, a Hindu revenant waiting to reunite with her lover, a tender-hearted kaiju, a lagoon creature aching for the swimmers above him, a ghost of Pride past – relish their new sparkle in the spotlight. Pushing against tropes that have historically been used to demonize, the queer creators of this collection instead ask: What does it mean to be (and to love) a monster Contributors include Amber Dawn, David Demchuk, Hiromi Goto, jaye simpson, Eddy Boudel Tan, Matthew J. Trafford, and Kai Cheng Thom.

About the author

Anton Pooles

Anton Pooles

Anton Pooles was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia, and lives in Toronto. He is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Toronto and the author of the chapbook Monster 36 (Anstruther Press, 2018).

David Demchuk

David Demchuk

Award-winning author David Demchuk has been writing for print, stage, digital and other media for more than 40 years. His debut horror novel The Bone Mother, published in 2017, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Toronto Book Award, the Kobzar Book Award and a Shirley Jackson Award in the Best Novel category. It won the 2018 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in the Adult Fiction category. It was listed in the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2017, came in at #22 in the National Post’s top 99 books of the year and became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.ca. His troubling new novel RED X was published by Strange Light in August 2021. It was listed as a Rakuten Kobo Top 20 of 2021 selection, a CBC Books pick for Best Canadian fiction of 2021, and a New York Public Library Best Book of 2021—one of just three Canadian novels on the list. David Demchuk is represented by Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller Literary Agency. After many years in Toronto, he now lives with his husband in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Matthew Stepanic

Matthew Stepanic

Matthew Stepanic is a queer Writer who lives and works on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton. He is the Co-Founder of Glass Bookshop. He is a Co-Author of the collaborative novel, Project Compass (Monto Books, 2017), and the Author of Relying on that Body (Glass Buffalo Publishing, 2018), a poetry chapbook about RuPaul’s Drag Race. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Is Dead, CV2, Eighteen Bridges, and others.

Anuja Varghese

Anuja Varghese

Anuja Varghese is a QWOC Pushcart-nominated writer whose work appears in Hobart, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Plenitude Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, So to Speak Journal, Flock Literary Journal, and Corvid Queen: A Journal of Feminist Fairy Tales, among others. Her work has been recognized in the PRISM International Short Fiction Contest, the Pigeon Pages Fiction Contest, and the Alice Munro Festival Short Story Competition. She writes literary fiction, speculative fiction, and erotica/romance – and combinations of all three – where women of colour get leading roles. In 2022, Anuja has work included in When Other People Saw Us, They Saw the Dead, an anthology of BIPOC gothic horror from Haunt Press, and Queer Little Nightmares, an anthology of queer monster stories from Arsenal Pulp Press. Her debut short story collection titled Chrysalis, exploring South Asian diaspora experience through a feminist, speculative lens, will be released in spring 2023 with House of Anansi. Anuja Varghese is a QWOC Pushcart-nominated writer whose work appears in Hobart, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Plenitude Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, So to Speak Journal, Flock Literary Journal, and Corvid Queen: A Journal of Feminist Fairy Tales, among others. Her work has been recognized in the PRISM International Short Fiction Contest, the Pigeon Pages Fiction Contest, and the Alice Munro Festival Short Story Competition. She writes literary fiction, speculative fiction, and erotica/romance – and combinations of all three – where women of colour get leading roles. In 2022, Anuja has work included in When Other People Saw Us, They Saw the Dead, an anthology of BIPOC gothic horror from Haunt Press, and Queer Little Nightmares, an anthology of queer monster stories from Arsenal Pulp Press. Her debut short story collection titled Chrysalis, exploring South Asian diaspora experience through a feminist, speculative lens, will be released in spring 2023 with House of Anansi. Anuja lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her partner, two cats, and two kids.

David Ly

David Ly

David Ly is the author of Mythical Man (shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Poetry Award) and Dream of Me as Water, both published under the Anstruther Books imprint at Palimpsest Press. He is a co-editor of Queer Little Nightmares: an Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022).

Daniel Zomparelli

Daniel Zomparelli

Daniel Zomparelli is the founder of Poetry Is Dead magazine. He founded the magazine while working at Adbusters in 2009 along with art-director Easton West. The magazine has been featured around the world with praise from Stack, and Monocle magazine. He is a former co-podcaster at Can’t Lit along with Dina Del Bucchia, where they interview Canadian authors about everything from books to current events. His first book of poems Davie Street Translations was published by Talonbooks in 2012. His poems and writing have been anthologized and published around the world. His collaborative book with Dina Del Bucchia, Rom Com, was published by Talonbooks in 2015, which received praise and was profiled in FLARE magazine, Global TV, the Vancouver Sun, and CBC the Early Edition. His collection of short stories Everything Is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and won the ReLit Short Fiction Award. It has been translated into German, French and Spanish. His work is in Xtra, Medium’s Archipelago, Megaphone, Vice, Joyland, among others, and most recently The CutHis podcast I’m Afraid That which features guests such as Jordan Peele, Jenny Slate and Nicole Byer, was listed as one of the best podcasts of 2018 by Esquire and featured as a podcast to listen to on A/V Club and BBC America. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Kayla Czaga

Kayla Czaga

KAYLA CZAGA is the author of two collections of poetry—For Your Safety Please Hold On (Nightwood Editions, 2014) and Dunk Tank (House of Anansi, 2019)—as well as the chapbook Enemy of the People (Anstruther Press, 2015.) Her debut was awarded The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and nominated for The Governor General’s Award for Poetry, The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and The Debut-litzer. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Fiddlehead, The Walrus, ARC Poetry Magazine, and The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and lives in Victoria, B.C.

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