Archive for poetry

Review: HYSTERIA by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on August 22, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Stephanie M. Wytovich delivers a powerhouse knockout with this debut collection of dark verse. Deftly weaving Gothic sensibilities and pop culture savvy, HYSTERIA offers an unflinching glimpse into the disorienting, frightening, and often hellish worlds of the mentally unstable. Wytovich’s poems–or “patients,” as she frequently presents them here–are blunt and visceral, consistently breathtaking in their convincing portrayal of madness and macabre beauty, rendered vivid in Wytovich’s rich imagery and voice.

HYSTERIA is a collection of immense talent and promise. Highly recommended.

Order your copy from Raw Dog Screaming Press here.


Cover Reveal: HYSTERIA by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on June 26, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Today is the cover reveal of Stephanie M. Wytovich’s poetry collection HYSTERIA from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Introduction by Michael A. Arnzen. Cover art by Steven Archer.

“Asylums once used to confine those deemed mentally unfit linger, forgotten behind trees or urban development, beautiful yet desolate in their decay. Within them festers something far more unnerving than unlit corners or unexplained noises: the case files left to moulder out of sight, out of conscience. Stephanie M. Wytovich forces your hands upon these crumbling, warped binders and exposes your mind to every taboo misfortune experienced by the outcast, exiled, misbegotten monsters and victims who have walked among us. The poetry contained in Hysteria performs internal body modification on its readers in an unrelenting fashion, employing broad-spectrum brutality treatment that spans the physical to the societal, as noted in Stoker Award winner Michael A. Arnzen’s incisive introduction.”

Preorder your copy here.

Now Available: Too Obscene

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Now available from Nostrovia! Poetry, TOO OBSCENE is a one-shot zine featuring inappropriate but powerful flash fiction and poetry. Among the offerings you’ll find three of my poems–“Crucified for Cthulhu,” “Blowjob Queen” (ever wonder what oral sex with ALIEN’s Xenomorph is like?), and “Gang-Raped by Clowns–The Aftermath.” (You can even read “Crucified” for free on Nostrovia!’s preview page.)

Get yours here.

An Appreciation: “This is How I Murdered the Librarian” by Michael A. Arnzen

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2013 by Scott Emerson

As part of The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly’s blog tour for April I thought I’d offer a few words in appreciation of Michael Arnzen’s poem “This is How I Murdered the Librarian.” Like most of Arnzen’s verse, it’s a doozy–read it here.

What I love about this piece, aside from the obvious ghoulish glee that permeates each line, is how Arnzen turns the cliched librarian details–like the shushing finger–on themselves in grim parody during the act of murder, while corrupting classic childrens’ characters by making them complicit in the act before eliminating them in fiery death.

In his note after the poem, Arnzen says the piece “may be more about crimes against books than anything else,” and it’s where “This is How” strikes its most brutal chord. Is there a bibliophile capable of reading this poem without experiencing a sickening lurch in the gut while the narrator destroys an entire library along with his victim? (I also suspect we’re supposed to be more aghast at that than the murder.)

Many readers, like I did at first glance, will see this poem as a comment on the print-vs.-ebook debate. Arnzen gives us precious few details about this killer–implying a surly youth so beholden to technology that dusty old books are beneath contempt–without really giving a clear motivation for the murder. But then I re-read the first stanza, which ends with a line about “a private show and tell,” and saw that perhaps this is a much-deserved revenge. And the librarian, who used books to her own sinister means, meets a fitting end.

That, right there, is what makes this poem great.

“10 Things Writing Has Taught Me” at Pen, Paper, Pad

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on February 7, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Guest blogging today at T.A. Woods’ Pen, Paper, Pad blog. And since I’m probably the last person who should dispense writing advice, I made a list of ten things I’ve learned about the craft.

Check it out here:

My Top Reads of 2012

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Just like the title says, my favorite books published in 2012, in alphabetical order.


Carnage Road by Gregory Lamberson

Zombie books, especially the end-of-the-world variety, are the proverbial dime a dozen these days, but in this bittersweet novella author/filmmaker Gregory Lamberson makes a worthwhile trip down this well-traveled road. As modern society collapses under an onslaught of the living dead, two bikers hit the highway for a farewell tour of America. It’s a poignant statement to life in the twenty-first century, and one of the few books I’ve read this year that I wished was longer.


The Gorelets Omnibus: Collected Poems 2001-2011 by Michael A. Arnzen

Kind of a cheat, as this volume collects Michael Arnzen’s delightfully weird web-based poetry and other assorted ephemera from the last decade, but what a collection it is. A wealth of strange, satirical, and clever poetry that packs an incredible amount of detail and power in their short line counts.


The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli writing at the top of his game, and he doesn’t make this list? As if.


Suipsalms by John Edward Lawson

Lawson’s collection of suicide poems is frequently bleak, beautiful, humorous, and challenging. An awe-inspiring offering of verse.


Working Stiffs by Lucy Leitner

Zombies again, this time in a corporate satire from debut novelist Lucy Leitner. Leitner not only deserves kudos for a workplace zombie comedy that’s actually funny, but she sets the action in Pittsburgh without invoking/fetishizing/dismissing the world of George Romero (it skewers ‘Burgh culture more than the living dead, and quite well).

Now Available: Poetry from the Grave

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by Scott Emerson

POETRY FROM THE GRAVE, a new anthology of zombie poems compiled by Rhonda Kachur of Dollar Bin Horror, is now available for most e-reader formats. Featuring 19 authors including Michael McCarty, Eric Polk, and Seven L. Cooper, as well as my new poem “Habit.” And it’s FREE.

Get your copy here: