Archive for Raw Dog Screaming

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.

Book Trailer: The Blood Poetry by Leland Pitts-Gonzalez

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Book trailer for Leland Pitts-Gonzalez’s new novel THE BLOOD POETRY, published by Raw Dog Screaming Press.

Fuzzy Bunnies: A Horror Poem from The Gorelets Omnibus by Michael A. Arnzen

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Book Trailer for THE GORELETS OMNIBUS by horror author Michael A. Arnzen (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2012). Available now in hardcover, paperback and ebook editions. Visit Arnzen’s website to learn more, or order now from Amazon, B&N, or directly from the publisher.

Review: The Troublesome Amputee by John Edward Lawson

Posted in Bizarro Brigade, Books with tags , , , , on May 31, 2012 by Scott Emerson

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

With THE TROUBLESOME AMPUTEE John Edward Lawson uses the theme of limb removal as a starting point in this rich, resonant collection of verse. Armed with bracingly dark imagery and an unflinching eye, Lawson wields his words like a blade, offering an array of bizarre scenarios rooted in post-millenial decay.

From werewolf limericks to the gross-out epic “Will Work For Food” (which kicks off with zombie tongues in toilets and proceeds to up the sickening ante), the biting satire of “Allahpolooza” to the poignancy of “Grandfather’s Death Mask,” Lawson displays an impressive versatility and level of craft, giving most of the poems here a depth that invites a second (or third) reading to truly appreciate.

A solid collection of dark poetry well worth perusing.

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

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Scott Emerson

If you have even the slightest interest in horror poetry, this is a highly recommended book. If you have even the slightest interest in writing horror poetry, this is mandatory reading.

Originally conceived as a literary experiment to create short, media-compatible poetry for then-prevalent handheld technology, Michael Arnzen’s Gorelets has mutated and evolved in the decade since their introduction. Yet at their heart they’ve remained unchanged–brief, vivid poems written with skill, verve, and perverse humor. THE GORELETS OMNIBUS collects nearly everything Arnzen’s written under the Gorelets banner, and it’s a must-have for the dark-verse aficianado.

The hardcover edition contains bonus material (including the razor-sharp Martha Stewart parody “Michael Arnznen’s Dying,” one of the author’s lesser-known classics), a handful of critical pieces analyzing Arnzen’s work, and a compact poetry workshop with how-to articles and creative prompts. These nuts-and-bolts articles are a great resource for those looking to hone their craft, and more than justify the hardcover price.

Whichever edition you choose, you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of strange, satirical, and clever poetry that packs an incredible amount of detail and power in their short line counts. A safe bet for the year’s best horror poetry collection.

Review: Play Dead by Michael A. Arnzen

Posted in Bizarro Brigade, Books, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by Scott Emerson

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

In his second novel PLAY DEAD, Michael A. Arnzen introduces us to Johnny Frieze, a down-on-his-luck gambler in Las Vegas. Licking his wounds, figuratively and literally, in a homeless shelter following the high-stakes poker game that ruined him, Johnny gets a chance at redemption from Winston, one of the shelter’s denizens. Winston’s helping put together, with the backing of a more-than-he-seems casino owner, an unusual card game, the rules of which involve the players making their own cards, cards that “capture life.” Johnny quickly learns exactly what that means–especially in a game where the losers don’t walk away from the table.

Arnzen’s renowned for his excellent short fiction, and proves equally adept in the long form, upping the narrative ante by carefully dealing clues and information at a brisk clip. PLAY DEAD wrestles with some big themes, namely capital-F Fate, our place in it, and how futile the attempts to change it can be.

But where Arnzen really flourishes is in the story’s unique construction. Compiled in 52 sections, the novel is stacked like a card deck with four chapters as suits, yet this gimmick never impedes the flow of the narrative. Equally impressive is the razor-sharp wordplay and symbolism Arnzen employs, much of it shot through with a generous helping of black humor, throughout the book, a barrage of clever turns of phrase that are admirable in both quantity and effectiveness. The skill with which Arnzen writes makes the read worthwhile in of itself.

And now I’m going to listen to this many, many times.