Donald Sidney-Fryer

Donald Sidney-Fryer (born September 8, 1934) is a poet and entertainer principally influenced by Edmund Spenser and Clark Ashton Smith.

Born and raised in the Atlantic coastal community of New Bedford, Massachusetts, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in October 1953. While in the Marines, he first became enamored of "imaginative literature" and began to compile A Checklist of the Ballet Scores of Cesare Pugni, eventually published in 1961 as Vol. VIII of Enciclopedia dello Spettacolo. Following his honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant in August 1956, he moved to California, where he enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles; during this period, he engaged in the concomitant study of classical ballet, working under David Lichine and Tatiana Riaboushinska for a year. In 1958 and 1959, he visited Smith's home in Monterey, California; during these two excursions, Smith introduced him to the oeuvre of George Sterling. After graduating from UCLA in January 1961 with a B.A. in French and the death of Smith in August of that year, Sidney-Freyer commenced work on the poetry that would eventually comprise Songs and Sonnets Atlantean (1971) and The Emperor of Dreams (1976), a bibliography of Smith completed in 1965. From 1965 to 1971, he edited three volumes of Smith's work for Arkham House, a task he would reprise for Pocket Books a decade later.

In 1969, he married Gloria Kathleen Braly, and started giving dramatic readings shortly thereafter at universities and other institutions, almost always incorporating material by Smith and Spenser. His poetry has continued to appear in a variety of weird fiction and speculative poetry-oriented journals.

Sidney-Fryer's verse is marked by a strong imagination, and a Francophilic focus. He is a strong believer in "pure poetry," and practices formalist verse, having developing his own specific poetic form: the Spenserian stanza-sonnet.

He remains a prolific historian of 19th century ballet, and is an expert on the ballet theatre of the romantic era.


  • A Checklist of the Ballet Scores of Cesare Pugni (Enciclopedia dello Spettacolo, Vol VIII, Rome, 1961).
  • (Ed.) Poems in Prose by Clark Ashton Smith (Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1965).
  • (Ed.) Other Dimensions by Clark Ashton Smith (Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1970).
  • (Ed.) Selected Poems by Clark Ashton Smith (Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1971).
  • Songs and Sonnets Atlantean (Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1971).
  • The Last of the Great Romantic Poets (Albuquerque, NM: Silver Scarab Press, 1973).
  • (Comp.) Emperor of Dreams: A Clark Ashton Smith Bibliography (West Kingston, RI: Donald M. Grant, 1978).
  • (Ed.) The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith (Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1979).
  • (Ed.) A Vision of Doom by Ambrose Bierce (West Kingston, RI: Donald M. Grant, 1980).
  • (Ed.) The City of the Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith (New York: Pocket/Timescape, 1981).
  • (Ed.) The Last Incantation by Clark Ashton Smith (New York: Pocket/Timescape, 1982).
  • (Ed.) The Monster of the Prophecy by Clark Ashton Smith (New York: Pocket/Timescape, 1983).
  • (Ed.) Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction & Essays of Clark Ashton Smith (with Steve Behrends and Rah Hoffman; New York: Greenwood Press, 1989).
  • (Ed.) The Devil's Notebook: Collected Epigrams and Pensées of Clark Ashton Smith (Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, Inc., 1990).
  • (Ed.) The Hashish-Eater by Clark Ashton Smith (Privately issued, Sacramento, CA, 1990).
  • Clark Ashton Smith: The Sorcerer Departs (West Hills, CA : Tsathoggua Press, 1997).
  • Songs and Sonnets Atlantean: The Second Series (Holicong, PA: Wildside Press, 2003).
  • (Trans.) Gaspard de la Nuit: Fantasies in the manner of Rembrandt and Callot by Aloysius Bertrand (Encino, CA: Black Coat Press, 2004).
  • Songs and Sonnets Atlantean: The Third Series (Los Angeles, CA: Phosphor Lantern Press, 2005).
  • The Sorcerer Departs: Clark Ashton Smith (1893–1961) (Dole: Silver Key Press, 2007).
  • The Case of the Light Fantastic Toe: The Romantic Ballet and Signor Maestro Cesare Pugni (as yet unpublished)
  • The Atlantis Fragments. (Hippocampus Press, 2009) [Omnibus ed of the three volumes of Songs and Sonnets Atlantean; 300 copy hc limited edition, and pbk).

External links

A Vision of Doom

A Vision of Doom: Poems by Ambrose Bierce is a collection of poems by Ambrose Bierce and edited by Donald Sidney-Fryer. It was published in 1980 by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in an edition of 900 copies.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – circa 1914) was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran.

Bierce's book The Devil's Dictionary was named as one of "The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature" by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. His story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" has been described as "one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature"; and his book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (also published as In the Midst of Life) was named by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900.A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States, and as a pioneering writer of realist fiction. For his horror writing, Michael Dirda ranked him alongside Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. His war stories influenced Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, and others, and he was considered an influential and feared literary critic. In recent decades Bierce has gained wider respect as a fabulist and for his poetry.In December 1913, Bierce traveled to Chihuahua, Mexico, to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. He disappeared, and was rumored to be traveling with rebel troops. He was never seen again.

As It Is Written

As it is Written is an Oriental fantasy novel by pulp writer De Lysle Ferrée Cass mistakenly republished under the name of Weird Tales writer Clark Ashton Smith. It was first published in 1982 by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in an edition of 1,250 copies (1200 of which were for sale), all of which were signed by the illustrator, R.J. Krupowicz. The book includes an introduction by Will Murray and an afterword by Donald Sidney-Fryer. The novel was discovered in the files of The Thrill Book magazine, where it had been accepted in 1919, by Murray and Daryl S. Herrick.

Based on various evidence including handwriting and typewriter comparisons, and similarities of subject matter and style, they believed the novel to be the work of Clark Ashton Smith using Cass as a pseudonym. Murray showed the manuscript to Donald M. Grant and Sidney-Fryer who both agreed it to be the work of Smith. It was only after Grant published the novel that the attribution to Smith was discovered to be spurious.

Murray has speculated that Smith and Cass may have come into correspondence but there are no letters between published in The Selected Letters of Clark Ashton Smith (Arkham House, 2003).

Donald M. Grant, Publisher

Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. is a fantasy and science fiction small press publisher in New Hampshire that was founded in 1964. It is notable for publishing fantasy and horror novels with lavish illustrations, most notably Stephen King's The Dark Tower series and the King/Peter Straub novel The Talisman.

G. Sutton Breiding

G. Sutton Breiding (born August 17, 1950) is an American poet and zine publisher of Speculative poetry, science fiction, dark fantasy, and horror poetry characterized by mysticism, black humor and references to San Francisco.

Gaspard de la Nuit (poetry collection)

Gaspard de la Nuit — Fantaisies à la manière de Rembrandt et de Callot (English: Gaspard of the Night — Fantasies in the Manner of Rembrandt and Callot) is a compilation of prose poems by Italian-born French poet Aloysius Bertrand. Considered one of the first examples of modern prose poetry, it was published in 1842, one year after Bertrand's death from tuberculosis, from a manuscript dated 1836, by his friend David d'Angers. The text includes a short address to Victor Hugo and another to Charles Nodier, and a Memoir of Bertrand written by Sainte-Beuve was included in the original 1842 edition.

The poems themselves are expressed with a strong romanticist verve, and explore fantasies of medieval Europe.

H. Warner Munn

Harold Warner Munn (November 5, 1903 – January 10, 1981) was an American writer of fantasy, horror and poetry, best remembered for his early stories in Weird Tales. He was an early friend and associate of authors H. P. Lovecraft and Seabury Quinn. He has been described by fellow author Jessica Amanda Salmonson, who interviewed him during 1978, as "the ultimate gentleman" and "a gentle, calm, warm, and good friend." He was known for his intricate plotting and the careful research that he did for his stories, a habit he traced back to two mistakes made when he wrote his early story "The City of Spiders."

A resurgence of interest in his work occurred during the 1970s due to its appearance in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series and the successor fantasy series published with the imprint of Del Rey Books.

In addition to writing, Munn collected books and classic pulp magazines, including Air Wonder Stories, Amazing Stories, Astounding and other science fiction titles, along with Argosy, Argosy All Story, Cavalier, Weird Tales (to the end of the Wright publication series), and others. Also in his library were self-manufactured books consisting of serialized stories extracted from magazines, notably works by George Allan England such as "Darkness and Dawn". About three fourths of his collection was ruined by exposure to weather during a relocation and had to be destroyed.

During his last years Munn lived in Tacoma, Washington in a house he had built himself. He did his writing either in his living room or in the attic room that constituted his library. During this time he was working on an additional volume of the Merlin series to be called The Sword of Merlin, which he did not live to finish. He was befriended at this time by the young writer W.H. Pugmire, who was influenced by Munn's work.

Hippocampus Press

Hippocampus Press is an American publisher of fantasy, horror and science fiction, and specializes in "the works of H. P. Lovecraft and his literary circle." As of 2017, it has issued over 200 publications, including editions of the complete fiction, essays, and poetry of Lovecraft, and thirteen volumes in the ongoing series of Lovecraft's Collected Letters.

List of speculative poets

This is a list of speculative poets. People on this list should have articles of their own, and should meet the Wikipedia notability guidelines for their poetry. Please place names on the list only if there is a real and existing article on the poet.

Philip Lamantia

Philip Lamantia (October 23, 1927 – March 7, 2005) was an American poet and lecturer. His poems were often visionary, ecstatic, terror-filled, and erotic, exploring the subconscious world of dreams and linking it to daily experiences, while sometimes incorporating typographical arrangements a la concrete poetry. He has posthumously been regarded as "the most visionary poet of the American postwar generation".

Sidney (surname)

Sidney or Sydney is an English surname.

It is probably derived from an Anglo-Saxon locational name, [æt þǣre] sīdan īege = "[at the] wide island/watermeadow (in the dative case).

There is also a folk etymological derivation from the French place name Saint Denis.The name has also been used as a given name since the 19th century.

Silver Key Press

Silver Key Press is the anglophone imprint of the French non-profit small press La Clef d'Argent specializing in weird fiction, fantastique, fantasy and science fiction.

It was named as an explicit homage to H. P. Lovecraft, referring to the short-story «The Silver Key» he wrote in 1926.

Since 1987, La Clef d'Argent has published contemporary stories (Jean-Pierre Andrevon, Jonas Lenn) and essays (S.T. Joshi, Lionel Dupuy), classic English-language stories in French translation (Clark Ashton Smith, George Sylvester Viereck) and long-forgotten stories from French masters of the genre (Édouard Ganche, Charles de Coynart, Théo Varlet, Gabriel de Lautrec).

La Clef d'Argent now publishes books in English under the imprint Silver Key Press, in Esperanto, as La Arĝenta Ŝlosilo, and in Spanish, as La Llave de Plata.

The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith

The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith is a transcription of a notebook that was kept by author Clark Ashton Smith. It was released in 1979 by Arkham House in an edition of 2,588 copies. The book was transcribed from Smith's notebook by Donald Sidney-Fryer and Robert A. ('Rah') Hoffman. Appended to the transcription are two memoirs of Smith by George F. Haas.

World Fantasy Convention

The World Fantasy Convention is an annual convention of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of fantasy. The World Fantasy Awards are presented at the event. Other features include an art show, a dealer's room, and an autograph reception.The convention was conceived and begun by T. E. D. Klein, Kirby McCauley and several others.

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