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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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 bi ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 7th 2013 by Raw Dog Screaming Press
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The entire time I was listening to this poetry collection, THE YELLOW WALLPAPER by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was in the back of my mind. HYSTERIA is about women and their likelihood of falling victim to men, to the world, to their children...and back again to the men. Unlike Gilman's story though, in HYSTERIA, the women often rise up and take what's due. I loved it!

I've admitted it before, but I will again here so we're clear, poetry is generally not my thing. But women are-especially strong wom
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Could not fuck the darkness any deeper / Into my head, letting demons run loose / In an imagination fueled by sadism."

Hysteria is a collection of dark poetry by Stephanie M. Wytovich. There are about 100 poems in this collection. This was the first collection I've read from Wytovich, and it was an enjoyable experience.

There's an overall theme of madness running through the poems. Some of them are specifically about asylum life, or what led people to the asylum. I didn't feel like a
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror aficiandos
The most riveting book of horror poetry I've ever read, period. This young writer captivates the mind in single word lines and strings together emotional terror in a way I've never experienced. Stephen King should add Hysteria to his reference library.
Scott Emerson
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 imag ...more
Shane Keene
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie M. Wytovich’s poetry is as dark as it comes, often brutal, often erotic. Often both at the same time. But there is nothing tasteless to be found here. Her language is as beautiful as a black rose and as powerful as a freight train running out of control. These poems pinned me to the wall with pure emotional g-force, evoking memories of my first experiences with poets like Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound.

This is a short part of a much more in depth review that can be found at
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don’t review books very often. It feels like a bit of a conflict of interest because I am so involved in the writing and publishing business, both as a writer and an editor. So many of the books I’ve read recently are by people I know, and often people with whom I am lucky to be friends. But I figure a book as powerful and stunning as HYSTERIA, a collection of poetry by the talented Stephanie M. Wytovich, deserves more than just a star rating. Disclosure: yes, Stephanie is my friend. Yes, I pa ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Like a trail of breadcrumbs through a dark forest, Wytovich lures you one page at a time to a gingerbread house of disturbing visions. Superior work in a relatively narrow and unexplored sub-genre and a great intro by Mike Arnzen.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Another trip into the madness, and I survived! I loved this book and, if you are a fan of Stephanie, I think you'll love it too. My review is here --->
Donald Armfield
Hysteria: an uncontrolled outburst of emotion or fear. Often characteristics by irrationally, laughter, weeping, etc.
A psychoneurotic disorder, abnormal effect. etc.

All of thee above gives you an idea of this magnificent poetry collection. At some point you feel what Wytovich is feeling. Sometimes she writes with a rage (examples) see poetry titles; Head Bangin' and Straight Jacket.

This themed collection of poetry has some real clever lines and writing that will stay with me for a long time.
Lee Howard
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for horror, crime, and madness. So when I cracked this volume of dark poetry, I felt like I'd struck the mother lode. Sometimes humorous, usually dark, often vicious, and always discomforting, this collection of poems about the inmates of an asylum will chill, disquiet, and disturb you. Many of the pieces end with a shock that made the bottom drop out of my stomach: shudder; smile; "Wow!" If you like dark little bits, this one’s for you.
Heleana Melendez
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Wow...that's about all I can say about Hysteria. As soon as I received it in the mail, I couldn't wait to read it. It left my spine tingling. I dint think I've read a better collection of horror poems.
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dark and disturbing. Fantastic.
Zen Bookworm
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun! I absolutely love dark poetry. Wytovich takes us to the depths of insanity with her glimpses at both residents and staff at the asylum, and with chilling effect.

My personal favorites are Bracelet of Blades, Clean Break, Darkness, and Stranger. I'm sure anyone reading this collection will take away their own favorites that speak to their own specific dark corners.

Don't hesitate! Pick this up and enjoy!
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hysteria (noun): Stephanie M. Wytovich’s muse.

[Example] "I first met Hysteria a year ago...her lips were painted with dried blood and she rubbed her hands together like Lady Macbeth as if she’d already committed the crime without me...Hysteria showed me the truth about people, and more importantly, she showed me what they were capable of." ~ from the Author’s Note

There is nothing ordinary about Wytovich’s collection of poetry. As Michael Arnzen states in his introduction,
Jun 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
I usually don't review books I didn't enjoy, but I have to issue a warning to any fans of horror fiction: avoid this book. Unfortunately, I was duped into checking it out because of the praise it has received (and continues to receive) as being an exceptional piece of horror literature in the poetry genre. Granted, poetry is a difficult aesthetic to find success within, and add horror on top of that, and you've made your job twice as hard. Today, it's incredibly difficult to shock people, be the ...more
Stacy Fetters
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Welcome to your decent into Madness, or better yet Hell on earth.
My mind has been blown open to a new world of horror that I didn't know existed.
She will leave you vulnerable, broken and bloody on the floor as she laughs hysterically.
And I fully agree, she is a ferocious beast of a writer. A master of her own kind.
Anna Nihm
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry was deliciously disturbing and I loved it!
Suz Jay
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
“Madness lives inside of us all. It’s just a matter of finding it, and knowing how to keep it hidden.”

HYSTERIA is a macabre collection of love poems to madness. My favorites include “Bathory,” “Black Bird,” “Blood Whiskey,” “Hallucination,” “Memory Loss,” and “Pick Up Line.”

Wytovich’s inspiration for this crazy good collection includes Edgar Allen Poe, Dr. Seuss, and legendary serial killer Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed.
Joseph VanBuren
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than just horror poetry

I am a big believer that the best horror often makes social commentary, and many poems in Hysteria fall into that category. Sure, some are just demented fun, but others use dark prose and gruesome imagery to make the reader think. Wytovich is good at both.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took me several years to finish this (largely because I wasn't in the mood to read poetry for much of that time), but I recently decided to pick this back up, and I'm glad I did. Not every poem in here is a winner, but damn, there are several that read like a knife to the gut. I'll be looking for more of Wytovich's work as well as other collections of dark/horror poetry.
Carrie Blythe
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love her dark prose. Nothing is off limits. For a first book, it is exceptional. Just wish there were less typos. I didn't notice any in the other books I've read by her.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I knew this collection of poetry would be dark, gritty and bloody but I was still a little shocked when reading some of the poems. Even though all of the poems obviously draw from the same themes, I didn't find the poems to mash together or to be too similar. There was something distinct about each one that separated them nicely. I loved the references scattered throughout, I liked the narrative in "His First Time" and I also liked "Craving" and "The Necklace".

I liked how Wytovich would often t
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
*** won through goodreads contest.

Ok so I think if you are not a twisted individual or if gore, rape, morbid humor doesn't make you bat an eyelash then this book of poems will not be shocking or riveting.

Overall it is a decent collection of short poems and there are a few I enjoyed.

This will make a great eye catcher for company to flip through and read.

Also, my boyfriend who is more sensitive to this side of humanity says : that most of the poems are enjoyably dark, but
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I looked forward to reading this book for quite some time. I heard rave reviews about it and it sounded amazing. I added it to my Kindle and read it. Now, I am really glad I didn't purchase the print version of this book because a tree would have died in vein, and it would have been on my hands. The imagery seemed pretty much the same from poem to poem and so this made me quite bored, and also some of the things being described were extremely impossible or at least improbable, which made the hor ...more
Beck Frost
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Disappointed. Some of the first poems in the book were definitely the best. I really enjoyed the sensations of Bite the Bullet. But the vast majority just fell short of causing anything other than boredom from me. Some of the shorter poems had the biggest impact and the longer ones would sometime meander. Again, I was so excited to read this and walked away with only about three poems that left me moved. My favorite line from any of the poems was "I'll silence this drumming by eating the drums."
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to have the experience of visitng the Asylum where "hysteria" was born. After reading the book, I felt as though I "knew" some of the patients - "realized" what they felt - and "understood" their madness. Stephanie took me deep into the minds of patients who I'm beginning to think may or may not have had a sickness, but survived the only way they knew how to. I enjoyed every twist and turn in this book and it definitely left me with chills and a new found love for the word "crazy ...more
Michelle Lynn
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This collection of poetry is something I will come back to again and again. It has just the right amount of madness and terror to leave me feeling satisfied with every read. I read this volume slowly so I could let each batch of poems get under my skin. Some were deep enough that I needed time to digest and others were like a rollercoaster ride- a few seconds of fear that left me breathlessly wanting to ride again. Wytovich is truly an artist when it comes to word choice and imagery. I highly re ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nook, gave-up-on
I thought this was going to be right up my alley but I just couldn't get into it. I found most of the poems boring and a couple of them grotesque (which is what I was expecting) then some were just... I don't even know. Overall I was bored.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry, e-book, horror
I got this book because it had been nominated for best poetry book and I was trying to find a poem to read during our Christmas book group meeting. This is not the one I chose. I am painfully trying to finish it. Not my cup of tea.
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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 Uni
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“Madness lives inside us all. It's just a matter of finding it, and knowing how to keep it hidden.” 2 likes
“Sometimes, I just like to hear them scream...” 0 likes
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