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 625 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 Fall 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 550 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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Fisherman

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Fisherman

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Wrapped in marine air, he

unfurls his net.

Exhaling, the sea seeks

the nylon snare, and the blue

belly fish skim

each other’s fins, scarcely struggling

to fight the inevitable

hunter’s claw.

Suffocating, the sapphire sun

pierces their fishy flesh like a violent dagger.

Their instinctual hearts

not knowing why

they were lifted into the atmosphere

of such poisonous pressure, lungs

collapse under the gravity, die,

hysterical, terrorized.

A smile reflects

on the brilliant crystal waves.

He, with his human eyes

untouched by such foreign agony

counts

each pretty corpse

and sails on,

like God’s shadow

through the caldron

of the inescapable Earth.

 

 

.Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Beneath the Surface, McMaster Creative Writing” Winter 1990/1991, 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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“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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Old Goriot

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Old Goriot

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He eats the fruit

of the dark arrow

hunt.

The half-moon rises

like a halo

over the thick, draping sky.

He is sleeping with

a locket:  his obsessive

love burns

betrayal

at his doorstep.

The gracious garden trees lean,

shadowing his eyes

from the Parisian summer.

Two little girls are playing dress-up,

tickled by thoughts of an enduring grandeur.

It is late in the decade. The lamplight is fading,

he calls out

on his deathbeds that he has learned the unteachable:

      -Love too has its limits

        as the world keeps turning

        artlessly

        towards its own destruction-

He reaches his frail fingers

and finds

no companion to comfort

his setting soul.

His smoldering, old eyes close

as his last breath

sings, sending

a final blessing

to the indifferent moon.

 

 

.Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

img063

Fire and more cover - Copy

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Beneath the Surface, McMaster Creative Writing” Winter 1990/1991, under the pseudonym “Jocelyn Kain” aka “Allison Grayhurst”

img315 img327img316     img541img542

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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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I go inside

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I go inside

.

to hide

from the wind and

the windy things the wind brings

like popsicles, icicles

and cloud watchers on their backs

ashamed to speak without symbols.

I retreat from the rocky mounds where

toddlers hold their picnics and the cardinals

rest, oblivious of camouflage.

The daydream that sustained me all last year

has weakened in potency, now is just a fleeting habit,

a camper’s terrain I travel to, flooded,

swampy and putrid, fraught

with the imagined memories of sing-songs and linked torsos,

clogged now with pestilence and unrealized connection and

the stars. I still see them overhead,

ordinary, insignificant – never astounding enough

to bleed cosmic capacity into my dilated veins.

Veins waiting to be juiced, to be breached

of their thin-layered confinement – myself waiting to be more

than a catalyst. So many reasons to keep moving,

but none impregnate my spirit, none immerse me or

insist that I take up arms. My arms.

They are hanging, tingling. They are not

me. I am in hiding, away from the wind and the windy things

the wind brings, part of the pile of the undeclared, an

illegible signature.

 

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

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First published in “Calliope Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7, Summer 2015″ July 2015

Calliope 1 Calliope 2 Calliope 3Calliope 5Calliope 4

http://www.calliopemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Calliope-Magazine-JULY-2015online.pdf

Calliope-Magazine-JULY-2015online

http://www.calliopemagazine.com/

 

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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.

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Book reviews of the River is Blind paperback:

“Throughout (The River is Blind), she (Allison Grayhurst) employs 
reiterated tropes of swallowing and being consumed, spatial fullness 
and emptiness, shut- in, caverns, chasms, cavities; angels, archangels, 
blasphemy, psalms; satiation or starved. With a conceit of unrequited sex 
as “my desire”, nocturnal emissions, awakening in the morning, the poet lives 
at capacity, uninhibited, dancing,” 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’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. 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. THE RIVER IS BLIND is a must-read,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

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After Love . . .

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After Love . . .

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      The mind falters,

reckless.  Excitable

                           it murders

our perfumed relationship.

                     I am chiming the cathedral

                                                            bells, dreaming

of the lost tenderness

and the soft pink flesh

                                   of rodent’s feet.

You are content. Putting the pieces

together

well, with your friend

you use as a

                     remedy. No, the shadows

have not departed.

                              My eyes

are absent of the flaming

tears,

and yet I cannot bear to shoulder

the belief in

joy.

My knuckles are purple

                           with isolation and

the metropolitan streets

cage me in

                 with memory.

         I am waiting

                            (that is all I can say)

to gain back color.

            Like everybody else

who has been

                     branded by

the loss of love, I walk

towards

            Heaven

dumb- struck,

knowing only the distance and

the danger

of this new, chilling

                               dimension.

Do not look.

It is company I need tonight

                                            and I borrow you

for that.

You were the fool,

a dreamer

who knew the souls of each

                                                 and every star – then

far off, the wind

is webbing around me

and the bomb ticks

intimately by my

                                   bedside.

 

          Is it the voice of Spirit?

          I have no answer, no vision,

          only bandages, inferno heat, the malice

          of this realty.

 

          I cannot erase you.

 

       The rain will make

us

        both beautiful

somehow.

         We will find our common

ground and paint

                            those stars

someday

with exceptional

wisdom.

 

The bullets, the miracles

hit

                  painfully brilliant

in their own right. But none of it,

my love

            is fatal.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

img063

Fire and more cover - Copy

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

.

First published in “Beneath the Surface, McMaster Creative Writing” Winter 1990/1991, under the pseudonym “Jocelyn Kain” aka “Allison Grayhurst”

img315 img327img540      img540 - Copyimg542

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“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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Into My Mortal

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Into My Mortal

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I look at the deck

where my vintage love was torn

and spoiled with smoke and hard tales,

told after sundown and music being judged

beneath a piercing sky.

Outside where my personal angel

binds her matterless arms,

a voice reels like heavy breath.

 

My children are autumn born,

as though humming and hewing out new

pictures to awe over and learn the endless

plateaus of heaven.

I am on all sides in a Sunday,

charged by what I do and do not do.

 

It would be paradise,

but often the coat rack and broken switches get in the way.

 

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

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First published in “Eskimo Pie”, July 2015

Eskimo Pie 3Eskimo Pie 1Eskimo Pie Into My MortalEskimo Pie 2

http://www.eskimopie.net/grayhurstjul15.htm

http://www.eskimopie.net/

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You can listen to the poems my 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.

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Jesus in the Counter-Stream

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Jesus in the Counter-Stream

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The grip was lost,

chocolate was made

and the makers were magic.

For this I bled

then opened my heart

to a difficult wonder.

It has been worth

a pile-up on the road,

no rubber under the foot

and a year of hard breathing.

With this I have come to understand myself

and place my hope outside the framework of

normal time.

In the closet

in the here-and-after

mercy is the lipstick,

the colour of the camera.

What is lost is lost and all that was lost was remade

when he was found.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Eskimo Pie”, July 2015

Eskimo Pie 3Eskimo Pie 1Eskimo Pie Jesus in the Counter-StreamEskimo Pie 2

http://www.eskimopie.net/grayhurstjul15.htm

http://www.eskimopie.net/

 

You can listen to the poems my 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.

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Nothing Without You

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Nothing Without You

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Like a hawk whose

shadow falls first on the mouse

before its talons carry the prey away,

so first falls the static shade

where confusion and useless struggles reign,

before the soul is scooped into a killing sleep,

and all that was familiar falls, below the manic moon.

 

I tried to give away the things I was wedded

to keep, I tried to drown in the fire of your demand,

but the wage was too high though my glass eyes still glow

for the house of your deliverance.

 

And in my bed where the prayers arrive to grip

and alter my unconscious flow, I feel you near like

a lover and like death, patiently waiting my embrace.

Your drink is wonderful, though

my passions falter and my habitual fears are relentless.

Your love beats the bitterness from my breast,

rips my nightmares

of their shields so that I crumble like a wood-stack with

one middle-wood-piece pulled, until I have

no reverie for all these worldly things.

 

And with my self-might crushed and your mercy

by my side, all but that love is made the fool,

subdued then denied.

 

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Eskimoe Pie” July 2015

Eskimo Pie 3Eskimo Pie 1Eskimo Pie Nothing Without YouEskimo Pie 2

http://www.eskimopie.net/grayhurstjul15.htm

http://www.eskimopie.net/

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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.

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Review of The Longing To Be: 

“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.

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