Joseph Payne Brennan (December 20, 1918 – January 28, 1990) was an American writer of fantasy and horror fiction, and also a poet. Of Irish ancestry, he was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and he lived most of his life in New Haven, Connecticut, and worked as an Acquisitions Assistant at the Sterling Memorial Library of Yale University for over 40 years. Brennan published several hundred short stories (estimates range between four and five hundred), two novellas and reputedly thousands of poems. His stories appeared in over 200 anthologies and have been translated into German, French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish. He was an early bibliographer of the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Brennan's first professional sale came in December 1940 with the publication of the poem "When Snow Is Hung", which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor Home Forum, and he continued writing poetry up until the time of his death. As a fiction witer, Brennan started out writing westerns stories for the pulps, then switched to horror stories for Weird Tales in 1952. He began publishing his own magazine Macabre, which ran from 1957 to 1976. Several of his short story collections concern an occult detective named Lucius Leffing in the vein of Carnacki and Algernon Blackwood's John Silence. His 1958 collection Nine Horrors and a Dream, containing the stories "Slime" (which has been reprinted at least fifty times) and "Canavan's Back Yard", is celebrated in an essay by Stephen Gallagher in the book Horror: 100 Best Books, edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. Stephen King has called him "a master of the unashamed horror tale". Don D'Ammassa considers that "His stories were noteworthy for their effective development of suspense and terror without the excesses of violence which characterise modern horror fiction". Brennan's personality was described in an interview as "reserved: he is friendly but not flamboyant. He is most comfortable with his wife (Doris) and his dog (Chaucer). He is a gentle, softspoken, modest man. But beware, for beneath that ordinary exterior lurks the mind of a modern master of fright."