Kyle Winkler

Newest News as of April 2024:

I’ve signed a contract with From Beyond Press to publish my novel ENTER THE PEERLESS. It’s a metaphysical detective novel with a touch of surrealism. Think a Midwestern True Detective crossed with Philip K. Dick. Current release date is aiming for Summer 2025. 

Also, I have an essay coming out in a collection published by Filthy Loot. The collection is titled LIKE YOU NEVER HAD WINGS: Transformation in Horror. Release date is TBD. 


December 2023

Castaigne Publishing is publishing the sequel to THE NOTHING THAT IS called TONE-BONE. It’s a cosmic body horror story that follows the anarchic queer biker of the same name. Castaigne will also be releasing a Tarot deck of cards based on ones that a character uses in the novel! Current release date is Sept. 13, 2024.


Released Jan. 19, 2024. Published by JournalStone Publishing. 

"Grasshands is an enchanting and lovely dark fantasy novel, with echoes of Bradbury, Jackson, and Gaiman-yet its own, startlingly original creation. Kyle Winkler is a distinctive and inventive young writer with an exciting future ahead of him."

Dan Chaon, National Book Award-nominated author of Sleepwalk

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"Grasshands fulfills the promise of the term 'mindbending' in ways drugs never could. Prose and dialog that are effortlessly engaging, horror that builds in an almost absurdist fashion making the dread that much more effective when it drops. And oh, how it drops. More than the sum of its parts-and damn, those parts are impressive on their own-Grasshands is a vehicle for experiencing the human condition, the ultimate drive for horror. I'll be thinking about it for a long, long time."

- Laurel Hightower, author of Below and Crossroads

Everything wrong with the world is wrong with books. When overworked assistant Sylvia Hix finds a strange moss smothering the library books, there's little to worry about. But when patrons start eating it, gaining direct knowledge of the books, then losing their minds-Sylvia has deep problems. Moreover, her supervisor is a glue addict, her best friend Albert is growing into a giant, and Clara Gamelin, the Library Board Director, is shaping her to be the next ball busting head librarian. It is a job she does not want.

Sylvia is haunted by the moss, because it's somehow connected to a horrific creature from her childhood. A creature she once named Grasshands and since forgotten. Stopping Grasshands from decaying the town's mind, the library's books, and the slow rot of time is the only job now available to her, whether she wants it or not. A novel of biblio-horror, body horror, and melancholic friendship, Grasshands is ready for check-out. Get your library card ready.

"In his novel Grasshands, Kyle Winkler once again renders the deeply familiar pervasively uncomfortable. I find no place to rest in his work, where time keeps shifting, good and evil constantly switch positions like mobile surfaces on a semantic Rubik's cube, and the nostalgia of beloved fairy tales clashes with the modern reality of bills, eviction, imperfect love, and existential uncertainty. Grasshands is both mournful and hopeful, passionate and disappointed; a gorgeous romp through the conflicted folklore of our everyday lives."

- Joe Koch, author of The Wingspan of Severed Hands and Convulsive 

"Grasshands is an enchanting and lovely dark fantasy novel, with echoes of Bradbury, Jackson, and Gaiman-yet its own, startlingly original creation. Kyle Winkler is a distinctive and inventive young writer with an exciting future ahead of him."

- Dan Chaon, author of Sleepwalk


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Radioactive waste sites act as refugee housing. A giant metal bird grazes the countryside. A gelatinous body-switching drug is sought to help perform folk healings. Most of the world is unusable, a victim of runaway nuclear disasters. The future is a landfill. Read all about it...

In the ruined and irradiated village of Bulm, Pavel helps a drug-addicted witch and her deathly ill son survive. In the American Midwest, Katya Mirov falls in love with Alejandro Po, a baker coping with multiple sclerosis. Everyone is, in some way, tangled in a web with Boris, rural healer and speaker of "the tea words." When spoken the right way, the words can move disease outside the body--but the disease then must transfer into another innocent person. Those around Boris begin to learn the chaotic carousel of words, and the fabric of reality shreds. BORIS SAYS THE WORDS is a cockeyed novel of lunatic speculative vision, touched by elements of horror and science fiction. And sad, sad, sad.

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A NEW MOTHER secretly bites her baby until the compulsion ruins her.

AN ABANDONED ANGEL eats the trash of a small Ohio town.

A SOCIAL OUTCAST spies on her neighbor's morphing body for a secret agency bent on skullduggery.

A SCIENTIST suffers horrible mutations to care for a radioactive orphan.

A HOPEFUL COLLEGE GRADUATE labors in an underground bunker scrubbing a giant.

In these twelve weird stories, human bodies are morphed, warped, and withered. Through love, desolation, or entropy. Through motherhood, childhood, or disease. The settings for these stories of painful transformation are often the huddled corners of the uncanny Midwest, but the changes are always happening on the body in pain.

OH PAIN is a collection of humor and despair from the author of the cosmic horror novella THE NOTHING THAT IS.

"Angel skeletons! Parents that bite babies! Monster studies! If I sound effusive, it's because I am, terribly - what a fun and weird and creepy and delightfully sideways book Kyle Winkler has written, and how jealous I am of anyone else reading it for the first time."
- Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges

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It's 1986. Cade McCall is an assistant manager for a catering business. Driving to work one morning, part of the local graveyard explodes. Later the same day, Cade gets an odd message from a client who needs catering for an Extreme Food Club. He calls himself Mr. Dinosaur. And he’s paying $11,000. Despite Cade’s reservations, he takes the gig. Although, who’s feeding whom is another question entirely...

Involving female biker gangs, cults, possessed furniture, and a full dose of cosmic horror, THE NOTHING THAT IS serves up the weird.

“Infused with cosmic, culinary dread and seasoned with dark humor, The Nothing That Is reads like Anthony Bourdain riffing on Lovecraft. Winkler’s engaging style and hypnotic prose will consume you whole, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, there’s an exploding graveyard. Eat this one up, my friends, before it eats you!

— Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Kin & Sour Candy

“Wild, fast-moving, and disorientingly hilarious…The Nothing That Is is down to earth and completely unhinged. It also gave me a jolt of sickening, infinite horror I hadn’t felt since the Vermicious Knids jumped out of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”

— Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying

Academic Work

Composition Forum. “The Use of Artistic Tools in Composition Pedagogy.”

Rhetoric Review. “How to Do Things with Incoherence.” (Co-written with Peter Wayne Moe)

Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. “The World Made More Sufferable.”

Critical Quarterly. “Syntax as Punishment: Joy Williams’s Reckonings.”

Midwest Quarterly. “Avoiding Verbal Solutions: On Troping, Rhetoric, and Student Writing.” (forthcoming April 2022)

It seems my ongoing column for Hipsters of the Coast--“Swamp Talk”--is coming to an end as Hipsters has not been able to secure the funding for continued content. There’s hope that it will continue sometime in the near future, though. Until then, please enjoy the year’s worth of writing, where I discuss the rhetoric, poetry, and philosophy of the black cards in Magic: The Gathering.


I was named by Michael J. Seidlinger as one of 8 emerging horror authors changing the face of the horror genre by The Lineup Magazine. Read more here.

Selected Fiction

Coffin Bell. “Homebody.”

Novel Noctule. “The Clutter Fold.”

Night Terrors, Vol. 12. Scare Street. “Smudge the Head.”

Ghost Orchid Press Anthology: HOME. “How to Build a Ghost.”

Annalemma. “Nutrition.”*

The Rupture. “The Memo” & “The Avalanche.”

Conjunctions. “Bite.”

Conjunctions. “Teratology.”
Super Arrow. “Every Day You’ll Get Up and Go to Work.”

Selected Essays

Horror Oasis. “What Beetlejuice Taught Me about Horror.”

The Rumpus. “The Joypain of Parenting: a Review of Lydia Kiesling’s The Golden State.”

The Millions. “Ursula K. Le Guin’s Warning: Sci-Fi as Operating Instructions for Life.”

The Millions. “Notes on the Art of Rhetoric.”

The Millions. “Gertrude Stein, Unlikely Comp Teacher.”

Selected Interviews

The Millions. “I’m Suspicious of Empathy: The Millions Interviews Jess Row.”

*(Nominated for Wigleaf Top 50 2012)


Kyle Winkler is an Associate Professor of English at Kent State University at Tuscarawas. He received a Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. He also is a faculty member in the MFA program at Ashland University, teaching horror and speculative fiction writing. 

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“I understand a fury in your words but not the words.” Desdemona (Othello 4.2.32-33)