The poetry of Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview (3)“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.

“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 of Swan Wheeler: A North American Mythology, Swan – A Planetary Mythology, and The Rise of Eros.

“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 360 poems published in over 185 international magazines/journals/anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four 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. 

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Some of places her work has appeared in include Parabola (summer 2012); Blue Fifth Review; 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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Amazon Author Page: amazon.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/members_data/Allison%20Grayhurst

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Kill the Poet

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Kill the Poet

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Kill the poet,

ransack the diet of bliss.

Dust away all traces of inspiration,

childbirth, breath and roses.

 

Thumbtacks, dried-out bones are

what has stayed.

I am a sand-fish, surfing the bottom,

accumulating 

duties, commitments, leftover debris

to feed my already grown children.

 

Notions of a mission? A nest of delusions obliterated.

Kill the loose ends, dynamite the cave, come

out in the open and say your piece. My bed is

rippled with loose springs, arranging my nightmares

in grand succession. Kill the poet. You killed

my last cup, spilled my endurance, and I am thinking

 

I will cut my hair cleanly off, clip my eyelashes,

dump all my seeds on stony ground.

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Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Gutter Eloquence Magazine, Issue #30″

gutter eloquence 1gutter eloquence 2gutter eloquence 3

 

http://www.guttereloquence.com/issue30/grayhurst30.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


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“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.

“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 of Swan Wheeler: A North American Mythology, Swan – A Planetary Mythology, and The Rise of Eros, 2014.

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Thieves of Muse

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Thieves Of Muse 

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I hope my star does not

 

shift from Earth and sight,

 

into galaxies unbridled by

 

God. And that my vision has

 

hair and pulse, enough

 

to reach the primal light, grow

 

a new strength with each

 

passing defeat.

 

 

In hours of climbing the worn pillars of love, as death

forces on through sleep, futility & tears, and climbing,

climbing to no avail, to see no sun, feel only the cold 

shattering of heartbreak and the mind undoing . . .

 

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Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

 

3000

 

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

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First published in “Drunk Monkeys”

 

Drunk Monkeys 1Drunk Monkeys 2Drunk Monkeys 5Drunk Monkeys 4Drunk Monkeys 3Drunk Monkeys 6

 

http://www.drunkmonkeys.onimpression.com/thieves-of-muse/

 

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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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Reviews of  ‘Journey of the Awakening’:
“Journey of the Awakening is the first book of poetry that I have read of Allison Grayhurst. While reading it began to sound familiar, the comment to myself was “She is as good as Sylvia Plath”. When I finished the book I read comments from others who referred to her as “In the style of Sylvia Plath”; Ms Plath, one of my favorite poets had no match until Ms Grayhurst’s work. Congratulations to her on her achievements, I am already a ‘fan’, the love of her work will continue to grow,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet and author.
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“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. This, and other Grayhurst poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

 

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Before I Go

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Before I Go

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Before I go

and put out the campfire,

offering my condolences

to the abandoned child,

I will let my grief go first.

I will dispel it as energy

gathered between my palms, then blow it

like seeds of transformation out of my blood

and into a happy beginning.

Now I will go. Summer is here and my sorrow

has lost its footing. I will make a collage of

my crashed expectations, peel away the crust

until I unveil a flower.

Talking is useless, right now, only moving matters,

walking away from an impossible situation,

releasing the ghost to haunt its four corners,

releasing my failure

to create love.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

3017

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles”

Poetic diversity 1Poetic diversity 2Poetic diversity 3Poetic diversity 4

http://www.poeticdiversity.org/main/poems-cp.php?recordID=1851&date=2014-04-01

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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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Flies

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Flies

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By dawn the flies

released their shape into

the soothing wind and what

came back was the weary pulse

of dying wings grafted to the day.

What world was this inside their

dark heads that honoured the

photograph over the experience,

that held up frivolous wealth like

a deserved trophy?

What faith was plucked with the flowers

as all their little tongues reached out to pocket

the short-term scent?

The flies live in their high castles like undergrounds

enjoying only the drive and privileged complaints.

They call themselves the philanthropists and

the even-tempered elite.

But I see them in the honey jar

and count them as already gone.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

Review of poetry chapbook "The River is Blind"

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Write Room”

The Write Room 1The Write Room 2The Write Room 3

http://www.thewritemag.com/poetry/flies/

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

flies.m4a

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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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The River is Blind chapbook review:

“An existential curiosity courses through Allison Grayhurst’s latest collection. It’s Grayhurst’s physical constraints that comfort us: a box sitting at the top of the stairs, housecats in states of wakefulness and sleep, the “snails and moss” that preoccupy her. Indeed, The River Is Blind situates itself firmly in the familial but imbues those relationships and domestic touchstones with a disembodied calm. Ambition and disenchantment linger along the fences of Grayhurst’s property but she remains candidly in the present.

“In lesser hands, muses such as these might’ve resulted in verses of weak-kneed contentedness. But Grayhurst’s voice remains one of detachment, webbing daily pleasures into greater meditations on love and God. Through spiritual lens, poems like “Everything Happens” and “Flies” counteract steadfast faith with insights on the material world, a separate world; a place where people grind flowers for honey,” Ryan Pratt, Ottawa Poetry Newsletter, January 30, 2013

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Our children are orchards

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Our children are orchards

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By the door

we wait for the end of school,

for the long day to bloom

to lay to rest the tricks of superstition and our obstinate ache

to be carried to the next fertile shore.

 

Blocked, but that too must be an answer

to the polished space that compresses and invades

our waking hours.

 

Risk that comes out of despair

as a last ditch effort to not give up

has been told in chronicles, as surrendering stories

that rain away dust and heal the hunt of weighted hunger,

nourishing spiritual belonging.

 

Leaves and feathers we collect with our children,

graveyards we visit to look at lost names,

where our hands seed deeper into the Earth,

rise higher than the hawk-bird into the stratosphere of grace,

 

grace as wind we depend upon to navigate our footsteps,

to quilt together our four-way love,

cooling the cut of arduous days and pilgrimage.

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Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview (3)

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The American Aesthetic, Volume 2″

American Aesthetic 1American Aesthetic 2American Aesthetic 3American Aesthetic 4American Aesthetic 5

http://www.theamericanaesthetic.org/featured-poems-spring-2014.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


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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,”  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.
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The Quenchable Drain Within

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The Quenchable Drain Within

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Like pale blood that rises

from cut skin, I see how poor

my devotion is.

I see my mind entranced

by frivolous difficulties

and mean shadows that drown

my lover’s heart. I do not do. I dissolve

my conviction by distraction and thick

is my vanity that pulses louder than

my any prayer.

 

              But like the undying air

I am comforted through

every break and self-betrayal.

Forgiveness drives out the ache

that keeps me immobilized,

where all is stultified by guilt.

              With you I am whole,

despite my drifting thread-thin

desires and despite my own love

yearning.

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Tophat Raven”

tophat raven 1tophat raven 5tophat raven 4tophat raven quenchabletophat raven 3

http://issuu.com/thetophatraven/docs/issue2scr

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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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The Bells

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The bells

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The bells speak of a hurt

that is mounting the circumference

of a life, mourning the death that splinters the arteries,

the hip bones, each vertebrae. Begging to the stars to tell

a colossal fable, a majestic myth to solve this boring condition

of being here, away from the infinite sky, swallowing

mounds of dirt where many others have had their footprints.

Speak of woods, and of creatures that love but cannot

laugh. My lover, I am freed from the concrete

chamber – you freed me and helped me find

an arrow. There is ringing in my ears and a sorrow

triumphant, clinging to me like barnacles.

It is what I have chosen – to not pretend and to kindle

a primal inspiration. Desire like a ceremony -

days of meditation long past, but trances and

swaying and throwing words out, guttural,

epidemic with desire, those days are here.

On the roof, hands at my side. Hurt in my ankles and

in my teeth: A snake is in the front garden and

I am watching it.

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Tophat Raven”

tophat raven 1tophat raven 5tophat raven 4tophat raven the bellstophat raven 3

http://issuu.com/thetophatraven/docs/issue2scr

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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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