Mourning Jewelry



stokerawardnom-lgMourning is the new black…

The tradition of Victorian mourning jewelry began with Queen Victoria after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Without photography, mementos of personal remembrance were used to honor the dead so that their loved ones could commemorate their memory and keep their spirits close. Ashes were placed within rings, and necklaces were made out of hair, and the concept of death photography, small portraitures of the deceased, were often encased behind glass. Mourning jewelry became a fashion statement as much as a way to cope with grief, and as their pain evolved over the years, so did their jewelry.

But what about the sadness and the memories that they kept close to them at all times? The death-day visions and the reoccurring nightmares? Wytovich explores the horror that breeds inside of the lockets, the quiet terror that hides in the center of the rings. Her collection shows that mourning isn’t a temporary state of being, but rather a permanent sickness, an encompassing disease. Her women are alive and dead, lovers and ghosts. They live in worlds that we cannot see, but that we can feel at midnight, that we can explore at three a.m.

Wytovich shows us that there are hearts to shadows and pulses beneath the grave. To her, Mourning Jewelry isn’t something that you wear around your neck. It’s not fashion or a trend.  It’s something that you carry inside of you, something that no matter how much it screams, that you can just can’t seem to let out.


What They’re Saying About Mourning Jewelry

“Wytovich knows how to empty her soul onto the page. She taps into the feelings and thoughts that we harbor secretly, shamefully, delightfully, and tenderly.”-Sunni K. Brock, Nameless Magazine

“Wytovich’s collection is haunting, macabre, and above all, heartbreaking. Despite this, readers will find themselves unable to turn away from her poems as they enter the often-obsessive world of Victorian death rituals and explore the soul-crushing grief that is now laid bare for all the world to see.”- (The) Absolute Magazine

“The title piece contains some undeniably memorable imagery; to say Wytovich is gifted is surely an understatement. Her muse is lavishly generous.”—Sydney Leigh, Shroud Magazine

“From rimming the martini glass with a dead lover’s ashes, to bedsheets as straitjackets, Stephanie Wytovich masterminds the lustful grotesque. But there is a sweetness in the violence, comfort in the pretty terror. Feathers as amputated limbs, spirit carriages, and valleys that hold the tears of little girls. This collection caresses beneath the skin—like a fine lace shawl delicately woven with her own blood.”
Jill Tracy, singer/songwriter

“In Mourning Jewelry, Wytovich takes all she did so well in her first book, Hysteria, and ratchets it up a notch. A bountiful, bold book, generously serving up more than 100 poems, each distinctive in its careful-yet-brutal musing about death and desire, written with a voice that is now firmly established as one of our top new horror poets. It’s a voice that seduces as it sickens. What strikes me most is Wyto’s talent for crafting morbid narrators and creepy characters that both fascinate and repulse us, in poem after poem, in a way that will have you turning the pages to see what lower depth she will take us to next. Even the Grim Reaper himself would drop his jaw reading some of these beautifully decadent poems. It’s a remarkable achievement.”
Michael Arnzen, Bram Stoker Award-winning poet and author of Grave Markings