Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Brothel is a deep and beautiful collection of dark poetry. It’s sexually charged with a touch of pain. This is my first experience reading Stephanie M. Wytovich and I was taken aback by the emotions that filled each poem. The writing is sharp, emotional, and erotic. I like poetry and it’s been a long while since I’ve read any. After reading Brother I was quickly reminded of why I enjoy poetry, the deeper meaning between the lines and the emotions it provokes. The way it can transport you to another place and time. How nothing else matters except the words you are reading and the images you are shown. Stephanie M. Wytovich takes you to a place of sex, power and pain. She fills your head with powerful images of love and wanting. Brothel is a place where some are lost in the world of sex, a place they only meant to visit. A place they are enticed by the pleasure and never looked back, where self-worth is lost and payment is expected. I found a good number of poems really spoke to me, some leaving me speechless.
The first that struck me was titled Dirty Sheets. The second poem that stopped me dead in my tracks was Drink, Drank, Drunk. I loved it so much I read it three times before continuing on my journey. The third poem that struck me was Remember Not to Cry. The theme of pleasure and pain runs through many of the poems in Brothel. Stephanie explores the line where one emotion blurs into the next and how tightly they are connected. If you are a fan of poetry that is dark and thought provoking this is a book you should give a read. Brothel is a quick read and one I really enjoyed. I will be revisiting the poetry found here again and again.
Length: 172 Pages
Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press
Release date: May 19, 2016
Wytovich plays madam in a collection of erotic horror that challenges the philosophical connection between death and orgasm. There’s a striptease that happens in Brothel that is neither fact nor fiction, fantasy nor memory. It is a dance of eroticism, of death and decay. The human body becomes a service station for pain, for pleasure, for the lonely, the confused. Sexuality is hung on the door, and the act of love is far from anything that’s decent. Her women spread their legs to violence then smoke a cigarette and get on all fours. They use their bodies as weapons and learn to find themselves in the climax of the boundaries they cross in order to define their humanity…or lack thereof.
Wytovich shows us that the definition of the feminine is not associated with the word victim. Her characters resurrect themselves over and over again, fighting stereotypes, killing expectations. She shows us that sex isn’t about love; it’s about control. And when the control is disproportionate to the fantasy, she shows us the true meaning of femme fatale.
Stephanie M. Wytovich, biography
Stephanie M. Wytovich is an instructor by day and a horror writer by night. She is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, and a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine. 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-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel can be found atwww.rawdogscreaming.com, and her debut novel, The Eighth, is to be published through Dark Regions Press. Follow Wytovich at stephaniewytovich.com and on twitter @JustAfterSunset