Linda Addison (poet)

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Linda D. Addison
Linda Addison.jpg
Linda Addison in 2014
Born (1952-09-08) September 8, 1952 (age 63)
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Linda D. Addison is an American poet and writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Addison is the first African-American winner of the Bram Stoker Award, which she won twice for her poetry collections Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001)[1] and Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007).[2] Her current release How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend won the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection.[3] She is a founding member of the CITH (Circles in the Hair) writing group.[4]

Early life[edit]

Addison was born in Philadelphia, PA, on September 8, 1952. She is the eldest of nine children born to Janet Marie Webster (née Warrick) and J. Decarsta Webster. From an early age, Addison was inspired by the power of storytelling. Janet, a homemaker who never graduated from High School; nightly entertained her children with self authored stories and tales, inserting her children as characters in her fantastical fables. The stories always ended on a note of mystery and intrigue, inspiring young Linda to further explore the mysterious and magical, light and dark, eventually she began to journal her feelings, stories and experiences laying the groundwork for her eventual career as a writer.

Addison attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA from 1970–1975, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

Addison moved to New York City in 1975 with fiancé Ken Addison, and started working in the Foreign Royalty Accounting Department at RCA Records.

Addison married Ken Addison in 1975 and gave birth to son, Brian in 1982.


In 1996, Addison's short story "Little Red in the Hood" was published in Tomorrow Speculative Fiction and was listed as an Honorable Mention in the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology (1997).

During her time at Carnegie Mellon, Addison became a fan of legendary Science-Fiction author Isaac Asimov and began regularly submitting short stories for publication to Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. At the NEW YORK IS BOOK COUNTRY FESTIVAL, Addison met influential Science Fiction Author and Editor Frederik Pohl. As their discussion turned to publication, Pohl advised that in order to get published in Science Fiction "every one has to write a how the dinosaurs died story." Addison took the advice and from a short story drafted a poem entitled "Why the Dinosaurs Died" it was published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in 1997. Addison went on to be published a total of four times in Asimov's Magazine between 1997 -1999.

In 1997, Addison published her first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror collection of short stories, journal entries and poetry entitled Animated Objects. Animated Objects features an introduction by Science Fiction and Fantasy writer Barry N. Malzberg.

African American editor Sheree Thomas put the call out for African American Speculative Fiction writers to submit for a collection that became the groundbreaking anthology: Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction From the African Diaspora Addison's work was featured along with Octavia E. Butler, Samuel Delaney, Tananarive Due and Walter Mosley. Addison went on to be included in Dark Dreams and Dark Thirst.

Inspired by transformation, a forced reevaluation of her core belief system following the breakdown of her marriage, like a phoenix Addison created the Bram Stoker Award winning poetry collection, Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes. Addison was the first African American to win this prestigious award. The first book signing for this collection was held on September 11, 2001 at the Barnes & Noble at Rockefeller Center. The first poem in the collection is entitled "Fire/Fight," although the collection came from Addison's personal journals and reflections previous to the events of 9/11, critics and fans of the book could not help but connect certain themes to current events, like loss, devastation in conjunction with rebirth, rebuilding and the resilience of the human spirit.

In 2007, her third book of poetry and second Bram Stoker Award winning collection was released: Being Full of Light, Insubstantial. This emotional tour de force was inspired by events beyond Addison’s control. Her beloved mother, Janet was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and Addison felt strangely pulled to her office on January 1, 2007. She describes the experience "as something she had never felt before, it was as if a voice came to her in meditation and gently whispered... 100 poems." The collection that poured from her was an amalgamation of reprints and new poetry. Addison completed her "100th poem" on March 14, 2007.

Addison is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and annually attends the Northeastern Writers’ Conference (Camp Necon) and has participated in panels with Harlan Ellison, Jack Ketchum and L.A. Banks.

Addison was "Poet Guest of Honor" at The World Horror Convention in 2005.

Addison's writing has been featured in Essence Magazine, and she is currently the poetry editor for Space and Time Magazine.

Addison has participated in Ellen Datlow's Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at KGB Bar in NYC.

In March 2012, Addison won her third Bram Stoker Award for How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, her latest collection of reprints, new poems and short stories.

Personal life[edit]

Addison separated from Ken Addison in 1992, and her divorce was finalized in 1995. Addison started a relationship with noted Horror Writer, Gerard Houarner in 1995 and they were married at a Voodoo Temple in New Orleans in 2004 by Priestess Miriam.

Addison and Houarner are currently separated.

Addison is an avid practitioner of T'ai chi under the supervision of healer and teacher Rick Barrett.

Current Projects[edit]

In October 2011, NECON EBOOKS released an E-Book and paperback edition of Addison's latest Bram Stoker Award winning collection of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror called HOW TO RECOGNIZE A DEMON HAS BECOME YOUR FRIEND. The book is a compilation of reprints, currently out of print works, new poems and short stories.

The Four Elements is a collection of poetry inspired by the four elements to be released in 2012, and published by Bad Moon Books. The book was inspired by a discussion between Addison and Houarner about female Bram Stoker Award Winners. Addison contacted three Bram Stoker award winning female authors and asked them to choose their "element." Marge Simon (Earth), Rain Graves (Water), Charlee Jacob (Fire) and Addison (Air).

DARK DUET, a collaborative book of poetry, written with Stephen M. Wilson, inspired by music. It was a finalist for the 2012 Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award®. Stephen M. Wilson is known for concrete poetry.


Addison's has cited numerous creative influences throughout her life including: Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Gil-Scott Heron, Langston Hughes, David Lynch and Rick Barrett.

Partial Bibliography[edit]


For a complete bibliography please visit *Linda Addison's Official Website

  1. ^ "2001 Bram Stoker Award Winners". Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  2. ^ "2007 Bram Stoker Award Winners". Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ "2011 Bram Stoker Award Final Ballot". Necon Books. 
  4. ^ "Linda Addison-Poet/Writer". Retrieved July 15, 2008. 

External links[edit]