Thursday, September 26, 2019

WHEN THE MANNEQUINS COME TO TOWN

Hi Everyone--

Today is the publication day for my sixth book of poetry, an apocalyptic SF/Horror collection titled The Apocalyptic Mannequin. This book is published through Raw Dog Screaming Press and the cover art is done by Steven Archer.

I wrote about my experience and influences writing these poems in an article via Speculative Chic (you can read the full article here), but I wanted to include a small snippet in this post to give some more background on how this project came to be: "A few years ago, I wrote a sci-fi/horror poem titled “The Apocalyptic Mannequin.” It’s a post-apocalyptic robotic soliloquy that challenges the definition of body and how it became reinterpreted when the world collapsed. See, after experimenting with memoir and genre in my collection Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, I wanted to do something completely different and really challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, so I grabbed my crossbow and axe and headed into my own version of a science-fiction horror story while I contemplated the cause and effects of the apocalypse and then mined the wreckage for scraps of poetry."

Please consider adding the book to your TBR pile on Goodreads, picking up a copy via AmazonRaw Dog Screaming Press, or Barnes and Noble, and/or reviewing how my mannequin army treated you on your favorite review site.

About the book:

Doomsday is here and the earth is suffering with each breath she takes. Whether it’s from the nuclear meltdown, the wrath of the Four Horsemen, a war with technology, or a consequence of our relationship with the planet, humanity is left buried and hiding, our bones exposed, our hearts beating somewhere in our freshly slit throats.

This is a collection that strips away civilization and throws readers into the lives of its survivors. The poems inside are undelivered letters, tear-soaked whispers, and unanswered prayers. They are every worry you’ve had when your electricity went out, and every pit that grew in your stomach watching the news at night. They are tragedy and trauma, but they are also grief and fear, fear of who—or what—lives inside us once everything is taken away.

These pages hold the teeth of monsters against the faded photographs of family and friends, and here, Wytovich is both plague doctor and midwife, both judge and jury, forever searching through severed limbs and exposed wires as she straddles the line evaluating what’s moral versus what’s necessary to survive.

What’s clear though, is that the world is burning and we don’t remember who we are.

So tell me: who will you become when it’s over?

What They're Saying:

“Like a doomsday clock fast-forwarding to its final self-destruction, Wytovich’s poetry will give you whiplash as you flip through page after page. The writing here is ugly yet beautiful. It reads like a disease greedily eating up vital organs. The apocalypse has arrived and it couldn’t be more intoxicating!”—Max Booth III, author of Carnivorous Lunar Activities

“In this hauntingly sensuous new collection of poetry, you’ll long to savor every apocalyptic nightmare you have ever feared. Blooming in the beauty of destruction and the terror of delight, Stephanie M Wytovich’s poems remind us that we feel the world better, love the world better, when we recognize the ephemeral nature of everything achingly alive beyond our mannequin minds. Here, we are captive to our deepest velvet snarls, zombie songs, and radioactive wishes, at the mercy of a neon reaping. Reading this collection is like dancing through Doomsday, intoxicated by the destructive, decadent truth of desire in our very mortality. In these poems, you will find revelry in the ruins of everything you once held dear — and you will love it to the last as you watch the world unravel around you.”—Saba Syed Razvi, author of Heliophobia and In the Crocodile Gardens

“Beautifully bleak, Stephanie M. Wytovich’s latest collection posits scenarios of the apocalypse and the horrors to come thereafter with language like fragrant hooks in your skin. Vivid, each word a weight on your tongue, these poems taste of metal and ash with a hint of spice, smoke. She reminds us the lucky ones die first, and those who remain must face the horrors of a world painted in blisters and fear. Leave it to Wytovich to show us there’s beauty in the end, just beneath all that peeling, irradiated skin.”—Todd Keisling, author of Ugly Little Things and Devil’s Creek

“Set in a post-apocalyptic world that at times seems all too near, Wytovich’s poems conjure up frighteningly beautiful and uncomfortably prescient imagery. Populated by a cast of unsettling, compelling characters, this collection is one that stuck with me.”—Claire C. Holland, author of I Am Not Your Final Girl

“A surreal journey through an apocalyptic wasteland, a world that is terrifyingly reminiscent of our own even as the blare of evacuation alarms drowns out the sizzle of acid rain, smiling mannequins bear witness to a hundred thousand deaths, and “the forest floor grows femurs in the light of a skeletal moon.” Stephanie M. Wytovich’s The Apocalyptic Mannequin is as unsettling as it is lovely, as grotesque as it is exquisite.”—Christa Carmen, author of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked

"Wytovich is a witch goddess who weaves together shadows, cobwebs, skulls, and pain. She is more than an author–she is a force of nature overflowing with incredible power."- A.E. Siraki

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