Keith Allen Daniels an American poet, publisher, and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area was a research scientist by day but described himself as having a soul that "belongs to the night". Mr. Daniels published poetry for 30 years. On December 18, 2001, this amazingly witty and inspiring poet was lost to cancer.
His poems appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, SomePIG! (an "arachnoid poezine"), Weird Tales, Recursive Angel, Poets of the Fantastic, Narcopolis, Once Upon a Midnight and numerous other magazines and anthologies. In addition, he published several collections of his poetry. In 1990 he founded Anamnesis Press, a specialty publisher of imaginative poetry, science fiction and related non-fiction.
In addition to winning the National Association of Independent Publishers’ Fallot Literary Award in 1993 for What Rough Book: Dark Poems and Light, his work was nominated for the Nebula Award, the Rhysling Award (13 times), the Pushcart Prize and the Clark Ashton Smith International Poetry Award. His poem, “Satan is a Mathematician”, was awarded the 1995 Rhysling Award (Honorable Mention) in the Short Poem category.
Keith Allen Daniels' poetry invariably dazzles the reader with terrific twists of humor and/or irony. A sample of his work follows.
Sponges grow in the ocean. That kills me.
Imagine how much deeper the oceans would be
if that didn’t happen. — Steven Wright
Looking for all the world (and beyond)
like giant desiccated morels
with long and spindly, Daliesque legs —
ludicrous legs that never quite reach the ground —
the sponge-things appear from nowhere
(which is to say, the periphery of everywhere)
and very cleverly up-end themselves
into every pond and lake, ocean, sea and sinkhole
on this beautiful blue planet,
headstanding like baobab trees
and waving their pointless legs in the air.
And they swell to the size
of Brobdingnagian beachballs
as every drop of available water
is absorbed by their absurdly poriferous bodies.
Destroyed: nearly all aquatic and pelagic life forms.
Altered irrevocably: global climatic patterns.
Definitely pissed off: environmentalists everywhere.
And they do this, not for petty xenophobic
reasons, or for spite — we could understand
those things — or for any nefandous purpose
known only to themselves,
but purely and simply
because they suck.
Copyright © 1996 Keith Allen Daniels