R.M. Engelhardt

DARK LANDS: Where Poetry Never Sleeps

About the New Book, Upcoming Appearances, and Even YouTube


“Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.”

~ Ursula K. Le Guin


So I’ve been incredibly busy lately.
(Far too busy actually)

I’ve got a new book out,  I’ve been working to keep my life in order and sending out work for reviews, journals, and magazines. I’ve been interviewed, published, quoted and asked to be a part of a few upcoming events. I’ve brought back an old event that has never lost it’s unique identity, ” The School of Night” to the Troy, NY speakeasy, The Berlin and have been non stop in making the marketing happen on social media, fliers and elsewhere plus working a fulltime job. It’s a lot like the old days. Twenty years ago when I was doing all this in Albany with Albany Poets, my friends Doctor Sax ( Bruce & James) and creating events and benefits. But these days it takes a lot more discipline than back then. I’m not 30 anymore.  And how I stayed out all night drinking, going to work the next day with four hours of sleep and kicking ass at promoting back then and reading out at other open mics I’ll never know.

Poetry never sleeps.



So over the last few years, I’ve only concentrated on my writing and getting published everywhere. And this is what I truly am, just that. An introverted writer who forced himself throughout his entire life to become an extrovert.  It’s not a bad thing but it can eat you up alive if you let it. I don’t recommend it. You are the poem as is your presence. I’ve always realized that. But the transition from the page to the stage doesn’t. The stage is a different creature altogether.  It wants your work to breathe.

Dark Lands Poems By R.M. Engelhardt So here I am again.  Kicking poetic ass and putting myself back into the arena. It’s where I belong even if it’s not fun sometimes. The new book is called Dark Lands published by Whiskey City Press and it’s met with some truly amazing reviews by such friends as musician & poet of the Australian band The Church Steve Kilbey as well as from many other talented poets and writers who I dearly respect such as Wayne Burke, Jeff Weddle, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, and many others. This book is something different than my past work, words or voice. It’s like spells or incantations or what feels like I channeled the poems from someplace else.  Some other world. The poems are about the earth, the poems are about the things unseen in plain sight. Spirit death magic and bone. Humanity. Fear. It’s been called enlightening, dark and beautiful. Wiccan or metaphysical by some but I invite you to decide that for yourself.  Everyone’s taste is a little different. I’ll be reading as a featured poet at Brass Tacks in Albany on November 5 so I hope that you’ll join me for a few poems and a drink. It should be an interesting night. Copies of the book will be available as well.


“A powerful incantatory work of pure utterance. An Ode of sorts, or manifesto even, to poetry and the powerless invisible strength of language and it’s saving grace, underground or above, unknown or recognized…The cryptic voice of the “Minister/of the Great/Expanse of/Nothing-/(Ness)–the poet, declaiming from the Land of Truth (his truth) & Light & Love. “Dark Lands” a misnomer here. An uncanny transformation occurs in the work: a “transvaluation of values” to quote Nietzsche (Fred not Ray). The quotidian becomes the “inhuman”, dark land of “Fame & Money/Politics & Wealth” while the hidden, mysterious, and gnomic becomes the “human,” where poetry and spirit reside, as well as Self “containing ghost/of necrophysical/ Dreaming.” Self, alone in a “great abyss” and seeking transcendence perhaps–“striv(ing) for one/more evening”–but maybe only needing another drink or cigarette, while “Awaiting/The caress/Of/Dawn.”< “

~ W.F. Burke (on Dark Lands)


Other than that there are a few more projects I have underway including a new channel on YouTube as well as featured readings, new poets reading at The School of Night and a few other collaborations upcoming. No one ever said that pulling a vanishing act for a while is a bad thing. It lets you spend time with your family and friends not to mention get your work published everywhere. If you’re a writer that’s what you do. You write.  Damn the critics or those who tell you otherwise. As a human being, you do what matters most.