Reading poetry sometimes feels like battling a giant squid: overwhelming, disorienting, and more than a little slippery. Poems can be elusive beings, evading comprehension and dissection. When you take an already chimeric beast and give it appendages of fantasy, science fiction, horror, or mythology—well, then it becomes another monster entirely.
Even just a few years ago, I would steer clear of poetry tables at book festivals, feeling that it was too frustrating of an artform to fully grasp. But now writing and reading poetry is a weekly pleasure for me, and I recently read the 2021 Rhysling Anthology—which specifically celebrates speculative poetry—from cover to cover.