A New Poetry collection from Stephanie M. Wytovich Coming this Fall

Raw Dog Screaming Press (RDSP) is excited to announce a book deal with award-winning poet Stephanie Wytovich for her next collection, On the Subject of Blackberries. It will come out in September in hardcover only. The style in this collection is a departure from Wytovich’s previous work in that it’s found poetry and poems inspired by another artist— in this case, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always lived in the Castle.

On the Subject of Blackberries was a project born from my diagnosis of post-partum depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder in early 2022 after the birth of my daughter,” Wytovich said. “The collection is a quiet little monstrosity about the unspoken horrors of motherhood, loneliness, and the feeling of being haunted, but there’s also a fair amount of witchcraft tucked inside to protect the characters and ward away the bad.”

In shorter snippets of poetry and thoughts, Wytovich weaves feelings and emotions around us as a berry bush might cleave to a tree – hugging for safety to produce the juiciest, ripe fruit.

“My style is quite different here compared to my previous works, but I’m also quite different now, too,” Wytovich continued. “Writing this was both a fever dream and a warm bed, a nightmare and a hot cup of tea.”

Bite your tongue,
remember 	the taste of arsenic, 
the question of
hardly breathing.

You should be ashamed,
tempted, the memory of almost dying
an absolute merriment, 
	a sobering loneliness 

it happened in the house
your lips sugar, silent
the family gathering 
in sobering prayer
on this—the subject of blackberries 

such lack of human discipline 
through dark gates of death

And yet, readers will still find the same Wytovich style which captures the senses, urges longing to see past layers, past the veils. Her same luscious use of words and imagery. The poems will flow along, one after the next, without separate titles but more like a river of thoughts. You can catch each one from the next in your hands, like on a summer day of eating wild berries with the liquid dripping down your chin. Poetry readers will feel her stretching into life transitions, her strength, her curiosity, her vulnerability, and be enamored by her words.

Shirley Jackson fans will fall in love with this poetry— a best friend to We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and a must buy companion to anyone with a Jackson collection.And if you’ve not found yourself a fan of Jackson yet, consider this your gateway picnic to the full course.

Stephanie Wytovich, Biography –

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous venues such as Weird Tales, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Fantastic Tales of Terror, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others.

Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, and The Apocalyptic Mannequin. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press.