Horror Poetry: Review and Interview

Today I’m pleased to welcome Justin Bienvenue to discuss his horror poetry anthology, The Macabre Masterpiece.

A fan and avid writer of poetry, I wrote my first book “The Macabre Masterpiece:Poems of Horror and Gore”, published on January 9th, 2011. I like to consider myself a creative thinker and brain stormer. I enjoy writing because it gives me a way to put my creative ideas into perspective and down on paper to express myself. I get inspiration from what I see around me, what I hear and from what I read. Writing is something I have enjoyed doing for some time now. While I mostly write poetry I have recently started writing in different forms such as narratives and short stories. I continue to write and am always being inspired and taking down new ideas. I am currently working on my next book entitled “A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West.”

1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?

Well I like to think of myself as a respectful genuine person with a lot of creative ideas and always try to make the best of a good situation whether it be in general or in writing. When I’m not writing I’m usually watching sports of some sort, playing with my phone or looking for the next big idea cause lets be honest as a writer the brain never truly stops working at least mine doesn’t. I want to try write more of course, get a more profound job maybe become a entrepreneur in some capacity and really just try to expand my talents as much as I can.

2. When and why did you start writing?

I used to write when I was younger. I’d write weird silly stories for school or just for the fun of it but I didn’t really start writing poetry and short stories until I was in high school. I just started writing a poem one day and then soon after I found myself writing them more and more until I realized not only am I good at it but enjoy it very much. While I mostly write poetry it was only recently that I started writing in other forms such as short stories and narratives and even a full fledged book.

3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Even though I write I admit I’m not that much of a reader but If I could read one book over and over it would be The Endlands by Vincent Hobbes. It was the first book I had read in a long while where I found that I could not put it down. The stories have a bizarre twilight zone theme which I love and it really gets me into the book. All the stories are unique and each one is really good and I feel I could just keep reading it and sure I may know the endings but I’d still appreciate it just as much as the first time I read it.

4. Give us some back story about The Macabre Masterpiece, where and when did you write these poems?

I started writing the book around the summer of 2010. I already had maybe fifteen horror poems and one day decided I was going to write a book and horror was the way I was going to go. So for two weeks I sat either at my computer or at my table and started writing more poems. I wrote and wrote until I felt I had enough and also I knew I couldn’t think anymore! I of course then sat down at my kitchen table and began going over and organizing it all into their respective chapters and where I wanted them and once that was all said and done I felt I had the masterpiece I wanted.

5. What inspired your horror poems?

 Some of my horror poems like the ones I already had lying around were inspired by my thoughts and what I was thinking at the time. The ones I wrote for two weeks to make the book were inspired by segments from tv shows, movies, my thoughts, Edgar Allen Poe poems and even things around me I had witnessed that I turned around and put a horror spin to it. Some poems have more unique inspiration to them then others but all have were inspired in some way.

6. Which is your favourite poem in the collection and why?

I hate to single out one single poem because they are all good but I’d say my favorite is “The Nightwatchman”. I remember seeing a storm on tv and deciding to write it and I like how it tells a story that you can almost picture a huge storm causing havoc and one man wishing to stop it. I like how I wrote it with such intent that there’s imagery and it’s got a mysterious in depth likeness to it.

7. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?

Yes, I am currently working on my second book which will be a Western Horror called “A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West”. I am also still writing poems that I may or may not make into a short book.

8. Do you prefer specific poetry styles or free-form?

I enjoy all forms of poetry but I usually write in the style of rhyming. I usually use different styles of rhymes and every once in a while I write in prose which is no rhyme however if I do this I try to make the words more captivating so a reader can really get into the poem. I feel rhyming is apart of poetry and it’s what I’m most comfortable with writing in.

9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?

I can’t say there is anything special or specific that gets me writing just the endless thoughts in my head running around saying pick me! pick me! I would say at times I have a muse because sometimes I write poems for and about people so while it’s not one specifically people become muses at times and I then inspire to write.

10. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?

 I’d be a vampire, specifically Lestat from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Why? Because I’d get to be immortal and do anything I want for a day and Lestat is a pretty cool vampire with badass mentality.

Title: The Macabre Masterpiece
Author: Justin Bienvenue
Genre: Horror poetry
Publisher: Publishamerica Inc
Blurb: Have you ever wanted a tour of the infamous underground we know as Hell? To experience different angles of blood? To meet some of horrors most morbid and fearsome creatures? Or maybe you wish to get totally creeped out and be left in utter shock and suspense to the point where your heart is beating so fast but you can’t get enough!?

If this is you, then check out “The Macabre Masterpiece: Poems of Horror and Gore”
-Five chapters
-Fifty in-depth poems
-Gruesome tales

The best taste of horror and gore starts and ends here…


I love poetry, the darker the better. Two of my all time favourite writers are phenomenal poets: Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire. So it was with certain expectations that I began reading this anthology.

What I Liked: The structure and divisions. The chapter breaks work well to group the ideas within the poems and also afford the reader a sometimes much needed break between all the gruesomeness. The poems certainly are quite brutal, telling individual tales while contributing to the recurrent theme of death and horror.

What I Didn’t Like: I’m not the biggest fan of rhyming poetry. I found some of the rhyming lines overly contrived to the point where the rhyme became more important than the imagery or story being told. Sometimes this undermined the impact of the poem.

My Rating: This collection is certainly about blood, death and gore: definitive horror. I would’ve preferred more subtle and less explicit writing. There are a few gems in this collection though and those alone make this worth the read. 3/5 stars.
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