The poetry of Allison Grayhurst

Walkways cover 2“Her poems read like the journal entries of a mystic – perhaps that what they are. They are abstract and vivid, like a dreamy manifestation of soul. This is the best way, in prose, one can describe the music which is … the poetry of Allison Grayhurst.” – Blaise Wigglesworth, “Oh! Magazine: Ryerson’s Arts and Culture Voice”.

Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

“Grayhurst’s poetry is a translucent, ethereal dream in which words push through the fog, always searching, struggling, and reaching for the powerful soul at its heart. Her work is vibrant and shockingly original,” Beach Holme Publishers.

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“What a treasure Allison Grayhurst is. Her gift? To unfold for us life at this intensity of feeling and revelation. Who knew truth and beauty could be so intertwined and so passionate?,” Taylor Jane Green, BA, RIHR, CH, Registered Holistic Talk Therapist and author.

“Her (Allison Grayhurst’s) poetry appears visceral, not for the faint of heart, and moves forward with a dynamism, with a frenetic pulse. If you seek the truth, the physical blood and bones, then, by all means, open the world into which we were all born,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of the Feminist Caucus.

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Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has more than 600 poems published in over 300 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, United States, England, India, Ireland, China, Scotland, Wales, Austria, New Zealand, Colombia and AustraliaHer book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published eleven other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series in October 2014. More recently, she has a chapbook Currents pending publication this August with Pink.Girl.Ink. Press. 

Some of places her work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Agave Magazine; South Florida Arts Journal; Gris-Gris; New Binary Press Anthology; The Brooklyn Voice; Straylight Literary Magazine; The Milo Review; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine; The Antigonish Review; Dalhousie Review; The New Quarterly; Wascana Review; Poetry Nottingham International; The Cape Rock; Ayris; Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review.  

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Over 500 of Allison Grayhurst’s published poems are available to read on this website. Most of these poems are accompanied by Allison Grayhurst’s audio reading of the poem.

Almost all of Allison Grayhurst’s books and her most recent chapbook are available for a free PDF file download from the page on the main menu: http://allisongrayhurst.com/free-pdf-download-of-books/

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Amazon Author Pageamazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

UK Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B001KIWQUS

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/s?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Allison%20Grayhurst&search-alias=books-ca

The League of Canadian Poets: http://poets.ca/membee-directory/#action=Listing&value=116&searchID=3286&cid=1043&did=100

Poets&Writers: http://www.pw.org/content/allison_grayhurst

Goodreads Author: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1937690.Allison_Grayhurst

E-mail: allisongrayhurst@rogers.com

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(Please scroll down to see new posts and sculpture images on the side bar. All sculptures were made by Allison Grayhurst.)

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August 2

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August 2

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In this place of light and brooding, I smelt the

grapefruit in the morning under the August sun.

You were born and I miss you. Over 13 years of loss.

The day you left at 4:30 in the morning,

I felt nothing in the taxi but the sheer slap of horror

that held me for seven months, degutting every reality

that balanced my blood. I remember your hand –

feeling the thick knuckles, the same I felt

when I held it when I was a child,

safe, because of you and the confidence of your grip.

I remember holding that hand, cold,

without flow or sensation, for the last time,

knowing it would be the last time,

knowing you would not be my father like that again,

but be a memory that would change as I changed –

taking a life, as it now has, of its own.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Black Poppy Review” June 2015

Black Poppy Review 1Black Poppy Review - All the Light - CopyBlack Poppy Review - August 2Black Poppy Review Bio

http://blackpoppyreview.blogspot.ca/2015/06/two-poems-by-allison-grayhurst.html

 

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

Reviews of ‘Pushing Through the Jelly Fire':

“This, (Pushing Through the Jelly Fire) is my second favorite book of poetry by Allison Grayhurst. I have it in paperback. I read a lot of poetry across a lot of blogs but Grayhurst’s work stands above the crowd and is of tremendous quality. I highly recommend this and The River is Blind. Her quality of writing is of a high standard and never ceases to lift my spirits as I turn pages in paperback or kindle,” Bruce Ruston, poet, photographer, founding editor of The Poetry Jar.

“Another Grayhurst masterpiece, Allison’s work has inspired me to continue creating and reading poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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When I Close My Eyes

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When I Close My Eyes

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The voice I hear that head my heart

soothes my unwatered ribs, speaks

generous and strong that the

stagnant heat that has made them brittle

will pass like a wave that passes

over a rock, accommodating yet

still whole. The heat will die like heat

eventually does, rising up into

God’s all-absorbing arms.

I will be removed from the vulture pit,

and when removed the pit will be remembered

as a womb, and with my gifts I will be praising

its every depth and syllable. I will not

be forgotten though no different than

others who cry out in need.

The voice I hear that heads my heart

soothes my flesh-stripped knees,

singing of mercy, indestructible.

 

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “First Offense” Issue 10, 1996

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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Giving Roses and Bread

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Giving Roses and Bread

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I turned

I will not turn again

from your sad space & ruin.

 

No wand no crocodile

tongue will shut

me out.

 

The hour is blood,

is coiling, locked in

your iron skull.

 

Your back is straight

for the first time in months &

your fingers tap the table one by one.

 

I saw you climb

the ladder & crash.

I saw the marrow leak from your bones.

 

I turned

I will not turn again.

My smile will be your shelter

 

and with my chains & circle

I will build for you a garden

where the crows will dance

 

to drown your madness

helpless then

gone.

 

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Next Exit” Issue 21, 1993

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

“Grayhurst’s rapturous outpouring of imagery makes her poems easily enjoyable … Like a sear the poet seeks to fathom sensual and spiritual experience through the images of a dream.” Canadian Literature

 “Allison Grayhurst’s Common Dream is a massive book by a talented and enthusiastic young writer, with a feel for descriptive, meaningful verse. Philosophical and very deep,” Paul Rance, editor of Eastern Rainbow, U.K.,  spring 1993.

“Her poems read like the journal entries of a mystic – perhaps that what they are. They are abstract and vivid, like a dreamy manifestation of soul. This is the best way, in prose, one can describe the music which is … the poetry of Allison Grayhurst,” Blaise Wigglesworth Oh! Magazine

“Rich images and complex, shifting metaphors drive Allison Grayhurst’s poems. She focuses on sexual love and interior landscapes, widening to include the heart, eternity and all.”  Next Exit

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The Flower’s Womb

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The Flower’s Womb

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Surviving still

one afternoon on a clear road,

unfolding like footsteps

on graveyard ground.

My limits touch me, echo

in my high nights

of summer power

and cherished inadequacies.

I think I will perish,

praise this invisible end.

I cling to the bird creature.

Porcelain eyes.

Cups of juice.

Resting bewildered in the womb.

It is open

the bridge, the leap,

devotion to its full extent.

My essence blossoms.

The red early morning

holds my hand.

Make no mistake

I am going, receding

from the devil’s dewed territory,

going with you, past myself

terrified, continuing.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “JVC Poetry Newsletter Volume 1, Number 6″ March 1990

Published under the pseudonym “Jocelyn Kain” aka Allison Grayhurst

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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So Long and Lucky

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So Long and Lucky

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So luck and lucky

no obstacle has

driven me out of my new belief.

 

Hour of a bridge through kindness

dignified; hour of a breeze that makes

me yearn to be in motion.

 

Over the hills of self-made hopes

and failures. Spared

the tight-rope walk, for now, spared

the embrace of death and

all meaty, murderous things.

 

So long and luck the mercy in my cup.

 

I hardly know my face this worry-less and free.

I only know this moment is good,

and that love too does pass away.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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Fire and more cover - Copy

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Braquemard” Issue 4, 1994

 

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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Lost

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Lost

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The bells of Euclid were ringing

and sunny was the sky.

Wednesday fell through my fingers

like cut grass and tomorrow will pass

by & bye.

 

I found four blue eggs cold upon the ground

and listened to the crows converse. I walked

a mile in mud and vowed to break one more

personal curse.

 

I stood beneath a stammering cloud that refused

to just move on. I looked for an omen from the crows

but all the crows were gone.

 

And when I arrived at my parents’ door, the gate

was up and the locks had been changed.

Like a child in fear, I curled upon a rock and cried,

forgetting the brilliance of buttercups and

the rhythm of my name.

 

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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Fire and more cover - Copy

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Afterthoughts” Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring 1997

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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I go the the crosswalk

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I go to the crosswalk

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I leave my bread crumbs on the other side.

I am waiting for motivation, for a clarity of purpose

that I once owned like a beautiful stone

I sunk under the St. Lawrence rapids.

When I was a child, I watched those rapids without fear,

stood close to the edge and never wondered

about the slippery underfoot,

never worried about the shadflies arriving

like a plague of river insects

or about my loneliness that turned

into a ghost companion comforting me

in those grey Quebec afternoons.

But here, in this riverless realm,

I cannot place my hands down.

I cannot stretch wide enough

to feel whole. I go to the corner store

and hear answers that only

I (and the birds) can hear.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Eunoia Review” June 2015

Eunoia Review I go to the crossroads 2 Eunoia Review I go to the crossroads

 

Eunoia Review I Leave Whole 3Eunoia Review contributors 1Eunoia Review contributors 2

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https://eunoiareview.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/i-go-to-the-crosswalk/

https://eunoiareview.wordpress.com/tag/allison-grayhurst/

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

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“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

Reviews of ‘Pushing Through the Jelly Fire':

“This, (Pushing Through the Jelly Fire) is my second favorite book of poetry by Allison Grayhurst. I have it in paperback. I read a lot of poetry across a lot of blogs but Grayhurst’s work stands above the crowd and is of tremendous quality. I highly recommend this and The River is Blind. Her quality of writing is of a high standard and never ceases to lift my spirits as I turn pages in paperback or kindle,” Bruce Ruston, poet, photographer, founding editor of The Poetry Jar.

“Another Grayhurst masterpiece, Allison’s work has inspired me to continue creating and reading poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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