Flowers of the Flesh
a full-length collection
by Effy Winter
Effy Winter is recognized as a contemporary poet whose work secretes an erotic tenderness and vulnerability. The poems in her debut novel, Flowers of the Flesh, are addressed to her lost love and were written several years after their separation when a raw sincerity unrelentingly bloomed past guilt and rage. In them, Winter reveals the corroding chapel within her heart and a feverous passion for the man who once loved her.
Effy Winter is a poet, editor and witch from Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of Flowers of the Flesh (Rhythm & Bones Press, 2019) and her work appears in Angelical Ravings, Soft Cartel, Rust & Moth and other literary publications. Effy currently works as the managing editor for Vessel Press and is a contributing writer for Witch Way Magazine and Rose Quartz Journal. She is the curator of The Love Witch’s Musings—a column at PUSSY MAGIC, where you will find her romantic poetry, spells and rituals. Find out more at https://effywinter.com.
"A visceral, evocative collection of lucid poetry depicting love that has been lost but found again among the fallen petals that caress these pages, this novel has blossomed from a lover’s pain and retribution to spawn something pure and beautiful."
— Tianna G. Hansen,
Editor-in-Chief, Rhythm & Bones Press
"Flowers of the Flesh is a smoldering, anguished votive to the most primal ecstasies and torments, a cathartic effigy of sheer intensity, an alluring, catastrophic wildfire uncommon in contemporary poetry."
(*full review coming in January at Clarion Review)
— Paul S. Rowe,
Poetry Editor, Dark Marrow
"There are few things in life with the ability to genuinely fascinate, and fewer individuals in possession of the power to drive that allure. However, Effy Winter has discovered the formula for suspending language with pure magic and impressive literary prowess. Flowers of the Flesh speaks eloquently and in a devastatingly raw tone about the subjects of violence, trauma, sex, desire and eroticism, in a way that is atypical to contemporary poetry by women, and in turn utterly ecstatic. Winter doesn’t shy away from or hide the crude realities of life in her work, nor is there a sense of operating thinly veiled. Immediate and absorptive, the work in Flowers of the Flesh is a dynamic meditation and an almost obsessive fixation on the body, the mind and the spirit exposed to the elements of the human condition designed to embezzle our light and dim our purpose. Winter provides us with a platform for our pain—a place to soak in suffering as a ram to quicksand. There is no mistaking the sorrows that plague human existence, but if you’re looking to be challenged and strong enough to submerge yourself in the blood of this collection, you are surely promised a spiritual and physical transcendence—what an absolute gift we’ve been given in the form of poetry."
— Afieya Kipp,
Editor & Writer
"Flowers of the Flesh is a visceral, raw, and relentless exploration of sexual and emotional violence. Repeatedly invoking images of blood, milk, soreness, and penetration, the body becomes the site of an unholy ritual in these darkly fascinating poems. Throughout the book the author develops a paradoxical relationship with the body. Despite continued, often shockingly vivid descriptions of violence, the poet always returns to floral images—roses blooming. There is pain and trauma here, but beauty too. This book is like looking through a shattered mirror. Each poem offers a refracted, fragmentary image of a stunning whole. Only when we reach the final page do we feel we have understood the full saga. These are poems which you won't be able to put down. It's easy to read Flowers of the Flesh in one sitting, but its words, metaphors, and images will haunt you long after you close its pages. Effy Winter's remarkable ability to balance the sacred and the unholy, the physical and the spiritual, the beautiful and the bloody is clear in this deeply intimate, personal collection."
— Katy DeCoste,
"The poems in Flowers of the Flesh read like dark scripture—sacred and sensual, dripping with a strange, spiritual eloquence. Winter's poems invoke spells or prayers written in blood and cum by a gothic heroine. Winter is an essential voice in contemporary poetry."
— Erin Emily Ann Vance,
author of The Sorceress Who Left too Soon: Poems After Remedios Varo
"In the eloquent, fervent, rending, and identifiable Flowers of the Flesh by the brilliant Effy Winter, when there is loss, not all is lost. Love and lust find a way to linger, to yearn, to endure, to unfurl like the climbing pearled and scarlet roses still growing long, still spreading wide, still thriving in anticlimax, 'still bleeding over the faint glow.' Flowers of the Flesh is a poetic novel that does not cry but burns."
— Nadia Gerassimenko,
author of Moonchild Dreams (2015) / editor of Moonchild Magazine