Venomous Words: Jeff Oliver
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘Venomous Words’ is the new poetry collection by Jeff Oliver. I previously read his collection ‘Drops of Insanity,’ which I enjoyed. When he contacted me about checking out his next collection, which also was going to feature a number of collaborations, I was intrigued, excited to see what he’d conjured up this time.
As with all poetry collections – I like to add that I have very limited education/training when it comes to structure and syllables etc, for poetry writing. I read it and if it connects it connects. If it doesn’t it doesn’t, but I can’t speak on its technical prowess.
What I liked: Throughout ‘Venomous Words,’ two constant themes revealed themselves. One being ‘venom’ itself and the other being metamorphosis. Most of the poems discussed either changing after an incident or an event, or seeking/exacting revenge on one who has wronged them.
Oliver and crew share these snippets of life within varied lengths, some poems being two lines, others being dozens. I liked how, no matter the parameters, a sense of completion was commonplace in the poems, very few felt open-ended and unfinished.
I also really enjoyed that the contributors and Oliver all seemed to flow really well together. I didn’t find any of the poems disjointed or jumbled because of two voices attempting to overpower or overshadow the other.
What I didn’t like: While the intricate insect photography was neat to see, I’m not sure if it really did amplify the poems to the level that might’ve happened if they were painted/illustrated. Hard to tell.
As well, some poems came off really clunky and were big misses for me. As with all collections, reader mileage will vary.
Why you should buy this: If you’re a fan of poetry, and more specifically dark poetry, this one should definitely be on your radar. As for those who may be on the fence, this could serve as a great introduction to the other authors who collaborated, as well as a neat look at how collaborative poetry works. Overall, I had fun with this one.
Poignant, chilling and at times downright terrifying poetry is coupled with photos of some of the most venomous, dangerous creatures on earth in this one. It all makes for quite a heady and intoxicating brew. Choose your poison!’ – Paul Kane, bestselling and award-winning author of Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, Before and Arcana.
Within these pages lies venom.
Within these pages await something you may never have seen before. Introducing Venomous Words. A brand-new collection of Macro-Photography fused with dark lyrical Poetry.
A unique fusion of your worst nightmares captured in photographs that bite and sting. Your skin will crawl. Your insides will melt. Introducing a brand-new level of Hell. Jeff Oliver & Gordon Reilly have fused their passions together into a collection of madness that will leave gaping holes.
When words fuse with venom.
There is no escape! There isn’t much time after the venom is injected into your bloodstream. Prepare your mind & soul. Prepare for a brand-new type of insanity that will never let you go. You will have many sleepless nights once you see the detail of the photographs from one of best photographers of Scorpions, Spiders & Centipedes in their entirety.
A few surprise bugs await within these pages too. When paired with Jeff Oliver’s ability to fuse his words into each dangerous still. A new nightmare is created. Prepare to hear sounds you’ve never heard, things you’ve never seen & learn things you’ve never learned.
Also included are poetic collaborations with Joe R. Lansdale, Chris McAuley, Brandon Scott, Noe Basurto, Xtina Marie, Stephen Remillard, David Kempf and Reinaldo Torres. Who have all generously added their own Venomous spins in short collaborations with Oliver & Reilly.
Venomous words start with ink.
When ink is fused with our worst nightmares…
Our minds begin to sink. Leaving many silent screams. Each letter is laced with such beautiful & venomous dreams.
You can buy Venomous Words from HellBound Books Publishing
Steve Stred is the Splatterpunk Nominated Author of ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Mastodon.’
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Steve has released over a dozen novels and novellas as well as a number of collections. He has appeared alongside some of horror’s biggest names within some truly excellent anthologies.
He is a proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant and an Active Member of the HWA.