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The Gothic Poets Society was founded by Arijah Ankh Khalid-Zyn in the Autumn of 1986.
Actually, the society was formalized in 1986, however existed in 1984...by default.
What kind of default, you may be asking as you brace yourself for the unavoidable cringe.
Well, the truth is that we started off as a couple of teenagers who would meet to discuss the works of Edgar Allan Poe,
and on a few occasions, attempt to contact his spirit.
In a nutshell, TGPS started off as a teen spiritualist society, fueled by Poe's works, late night pizza and slumber parties.
Yep. 13 year olds holding book club and seances in a blanket fort on a Baltimore back porch.
Loads of candles and urban legends, such as Black Aggie filled imagination and caused subsequent terror when things went bump in the night.

Moves and interests divided our little group. I was still reading the Gothic lit, jumping stone fences at Westminster
burying ground, visiting with my beloved Edgar and still holding seances by myself.

The romantics say that "TGPS was founded at the grave of Poe himself". To an extent, it indeed was...I prefer to say "refined".
Up until the Autumn of 1986, it was just me and my backpack full of majikal supplies and books, and then I met two others.
We would sit in gym class, discussing metaphysics, spiritualism and the greats like Poe, Shelley, Stoker and Lovecraft.

Time passes, interests again divide. Perhaps this time, by more structure and less chance as majik and spiritualism found
their comfort in a little coven in the forest called Ravynmoon, while the literary discussions stayed within a now larger group
between local cemeteries and haunts and the high school cafeteria.
Slumber parties gave way to more mature group settings. Friends traveled away. Families started being created.
With each one, I'd like to think the spirit of TGPS went with them.
The formality remained mine, and on more than a few occasions, it was once again just me, with no more then notebook and pen in hand,
book and spirit of Mr. Poe at my side.

With the advent of the internet, and then social media, and then again with virtual media, many others were able to find us, and today,
we have hundreds of members from all over the world.

We've had many incarnations, having gone from note passing to phone calls, to Gothic kids hiking through the forest,
or sleeping between the graves at our local cemetery to where we are now...an international group of like minds and spirits;
books at the ready, be they paper volume or pixels in e-books or pdfs.
Technically, I guess were back to note passing, only this time it's in a much larger hallway, and frequently that flashlight glow
under the blanket fort comes from a mobile device.
Now, people anywhere can see photos of the old cobblestone streets, and get a personal view of the graves of Mr. Poe from the
comfort of their own space, anytime, anywhere.
People who couldn't read his works before now have access, along with a myriad of others.

Although the technological advances have been astounding, and it has helped us meet others from all over the world,
I can't help but long for a simpler time. The smell of old books, library card with the bent and torn edges hanging on for dear ink,
that flashlight clanging around in my backpack, screams from under a blanket fort during another session of scary story or "let's channel Edgar",
with the heavy smell of spices from McCormick spice factory flowing through the air of those humid summer nights.

So, here we are (blows kisses to ghost Sean)...another year passes. Another progression. Another session and season and more data then you can shake a stick at.
The sound of boot upon cobblestone streets as they echo with laughter now traded for the sound of keyboard clacks and ticks.

Consider next time you pick up a scary story, do it under a blanket fort and don't forget the pizza.

"Wit, word & spirits!"

Join us over on GoodReads!

The Gothic Poets Society
The Gothic Poets Society 306 members
Wits, Words & Spirits! Who Are We? We are a group of like minded individuals who haunt dark halls and cemeteries, armed with pens, books and black lipstick, delight in the Gothic word, wine and cheese. Who Are You? If you find yourself reading by candlelight to the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Percy Shelley or H.P. Lovecraft, or are an artist or Gothic writer or poet...you're one of us! welcome. Who's Who? Our older members may be identified by their layers of dust. Newer members may be identified by their complete confusion. Administration may not be identifiable at all. Why Are We Here? Some of our members thought it was time we got out of the attic.

Books we've read

The Complete Stories and Poems
The Mysteries of Udolpho
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Interview with the Vampire
Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned
The Castle of Otranto
The Monk
The Amber Witch
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
St. Irvyne
The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre
Uncle Silas
The Great God Pan
The Three Impostors and Other Stories
The White People and Other Stories

View this group on Goodreads »

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