Edgar Allan Poe introduced most of us to horror—and to horror poetry—but for me, the writers who taught me how to write horror weren’t traditional horror writers. At least not in the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night kind of way. Sure, I loved reading about ghosts and monsters as much as the next kid, but growing up, the horror I found myself most drawn to explored mental health, insomnia, night terrors, and other real-world afflictions like addiction, self-harm, or divorce. In fact, I think one of the first books of poetry I read as a young adult was Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. It was the first time I had ever seen poetry gathered and formatted as a collective narrative, and I read everything by her after that, not just because they were interesting reads, but because they felt forbidden. These books were about topics that I didn’t openly talk about with my friends or my parents, so I felt like I had a secret, like I could go into the page, unashamed and vulnerable, and no one would judge me. Poetry, in a lot of ways, became a safe space for me, somewhere I could question the world around me and not be afraid to cry or scream. Later on, it would be those exact same reasons that pushed me to write and work in the horror industry, too, namely as a poet.