The poetry of Allison Grayhurst

“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”.

“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.

“Allison Grayhurst poetry has a tribal and timeless feeling, reminiscent of the Biblical commentary in Ecclesiastes,” Cristina Deptula, editor of Synchronized Chaos.

“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. For those adventurous enough to venture into a river wild, deep, calm, beautiful, shadowed, light, filled with moods and emotions of both an inner and the earth’s landscape, then this is a journey worth taking. It leads to experiences that have the texture and substance of life,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

Allison Grayhurst’s poetry 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.

“Allison Grayhurst is a poet whose work is characterized by startling imagery and uncompromising emotion, whose pieces have appeared in prestigious magazines. Lights, darks, colors, and passions intertwine throughout the pages of her work,” Louise E. Allin, Literature and Language.

“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? Nothing is wishy-washy in the realm of Allison Grayhurst. Her work is sustaining, enriching, and deepening for the soul to read… a light of sanity in the world. As a poet, Allison Grayhurst is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, BA, RIHR, CH, Registered Holistic Talk Therapist and author.

“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.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poetry has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention,” Maggie Helwig, author and poet.

“When I read Allison Grayhurst’s poetry, I am compelled by the intensity and strength of her spirituality. Her personal experience of God drives her poetry. With honesty and vulnerability, she fleshes out the profound mystery of knowing at once both the beauty and terror of God’s love, both freedom and obedience, deep joy and sorrow, both being deeply rooted in but also apart from the world, and lastly, both life and death. Her poems undulate through these paradoxes with much feeling and often leave me breathless, shaken. Allison Grayhurst’s poems are both beautiful and difficult to behold,” Anna Mark, poet and teacher.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is a collection of vivid imagery and gripping enjambment that puts the reader in a spiralling world of despair. By using language to express the human conflicts of inner turmoil and the way in which our past burdens interact with the subconscious, the self and the world around us, Grayhurst sculpts poems that are revealing and confessional, as well as technically adept in their formatting and diction,” David Eatock, The Continuist.

“What can I say about Allison Grayhurst and her creativity that has not already been said…she is a prolific poet. Her poetry has touched my heart and soul,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet and author.

“I am very impressed with Allison Grayhurst’s poetry, it just oozes quality and in all ways gets my mind thinking. If you read poetry I highly recommend it, if you also write this is a great way to spend a couple of hours soaking in the quality and subject matters. The poems are spiritual and uplifting and I have never found any of her poems to be dull or depressing nor ever too hard to read. More life affirming each time I read one and I am always glad to have done so,” Bruce Ruston, poet, photographer, founding editor of The Poetry Jar.

“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, poet.

“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.” Eric Folsom, editor of Next Exit.

“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 is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated For “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has more than 1250 poems published in over 485 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, United States, England, India, Ireland, China, Scotland, Wales, Austria, Romania, New Zealand, Turkey, Zambia, Bangladesh, Colombia and Australia.

***

Recently, May 2020, her poems have been translated into Chinese and published in “Rendition of International Poetry Quarterly Vol 98”, and “Poetry Hall, Issue 7”.

***

In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.   

https://www.cbc.ca/books/sight-at-zero-1.4618370

***   

Walkways cover 2Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published sixteen other books of poetry and five collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing.

Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream (1991), and four chapbooks, (Before the Dawn, Joshua’s Shoulder, Perfect Love, and Jumana), published by The Plowman, all in 1989.

Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press 2012. In 2014, her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series.

In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group).

img432

Some of places her work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); SUFI Journal (Featured Poet in Issue #95, Sacred Space); Elephant Journal; Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Drunk Monkeys, Agave Magazine; JuxtaProse Literary 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; Chicago Record Magazine; The New Quarterly; Wascana Review; Poetry Nottingham International; The Cape Rock; Ayris; Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry; Existere; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review.  

***

Over 1250 of Allison Grayhurst’s published poems are available to read on this website. All of these poems are accompanied by Allison Grayhurst’s audio reading of the poem. Links to each poem by title:  https://allisongrayhurst.com/links-to-poems-by-title/

Almost all of Allison Grayhurst’s books are available for a free reading on Issuu and/or a PDF file link to download from the page on the main menu: 

https://allisongrayhurst.com/free-pdf-download-of-books/ 

https://issuu.com/allisongrayhurst

***

Allison Grayhurst’s completed published work prior to 2018 is available to read in six volumes titled The Poetry of Allison Grayhurst – completed works from 1988 to 2017, all published in 2017 by Edge Unlimited Publishing. Selected poems from this body of work are published in Sight at Zero (selected poems 1988 to 2017), Edge Unlimited Publishing, 2017. 

 

 

 

“Allison Grayhurst’s poetry combines the depth and dark intensity of Sylvia Plath, the layered complex imagery of Dylan Thomas and the philosophical insights of Soren Kierkegaard, taking the reader on a fearless journey through the human condition, delving with honesty into death, grief, loss, faith, commitment, motherhood, and erotic love. 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 of Wigford Rememberies and The Abandoned; https://kypharness.net/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyp_Harness

***

Allison Grayhurst also sculpts, working with clay and casting into concrete. Her sculpting body of work can be found in the published book The Sculptures of Allison Grayhurst, Edge Unlimited Publishing, 2017.

“Beautiful, soulful expressions of human and animal spirits – made by Allison Grayhurst’s hand – the heartfelt poetry of her soul showing up in the physical “flesh” of sculpture – the feeling and power of these beings translated through her finger tips,” Taylor Jane Green, BA, RIHR, CH, Registered Holistic Talk Therapist and author.

“Beautiful and interesting sculptures,” Antonio Occulto, painter and sculptor.

“I can see Allison Grayhurst’s passion for her work in these. Very expressive faces,” James Brandon O’Shea, photographer.

“This is an incredible collection of Art,” Bruce Ruston, poet, photographer, founding editor of The Poetry Jar.

***

Collaborating with Allison Grayhurst on the lyrics, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/musician Diane Barbarash transformed eight of Allison Grayhurst’s poems into songs, creating a full album entitled River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst, released October 2017.

www.dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com 

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

***

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:  https://leagueofcanadianpoets.wildapricot.org/Sys/PublicProfile/41491211/4321598

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

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

Issuu: https://issuu.com/allisongrayhurst

E-mail: allisongrayhurst@rogers.com

 

***

.

If it is empty then it is empty

If it is empty then it is empty

 .

        Perishing like wasps in wet tar,

we can’t claim an answer

but only wear our raincoats,

acting out past wounds, meditating

by watergardens where amphibians breed,

owners of the pond.

        Perishing enough to create parables

to be sold to our advantage,

holding hands in the summer or after a bath.

We look through windows, keeping

vigil with homebound strangers, unlocking cupboards,

storing gifts on laundryroom shelves.

We welcome the red squirrel, make love

most afternoons, tie-dye our t-shirts.

burning colours hotter at the edges.

        We meet old mentors perishing,

drunk and mutated, mentors who taught us

to read the lines in our palms, how to find music underwater,

poetry under siege, sometimes showing us

the pitter-patter pace of caterpillars on a damp park lawn.

        Depths pushing out like a well-nourished womb,

depths we perish in, drained of desire,

listless in the light. Don’t bother complaining,

we were made to perish, grow a revolutionary peace

in the crisp leaves of burnt sage, discover mercy

in a backwards fall.

.

.

.

Copyright © 2013 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview

No Raft - No Ocean

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “Kritya”, 2013

Kritya 1 Kritya 2 Kritya 3

http://www.kritya.in/0808/En/poetry_at_our_time 4.html

.

if it is empty

Click to access 20151023No_Raft_No_Ocean_by_Allison_Grayhurst.pdf

.

Scars writingScars If it is empty 1 Scars If it is empty 2

http://scars.tv/cgi-bin/framesmain.pl?writers

.

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

.

“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.

.

.

Because I love you

Because I love you

.

like the humpback does its song,

I grow by caring for you

and your unfair burden.

A golden daughter, bells in your hair

and a richness in your eyes. I have

all fortune at my door and my only wish

is to peel away your cloud of illness and brighten

your ground. I only see a fine gem’s rays reflected

on your skin. I only dream of your dissolved chains –

miles around you of only childish concerns.

 

I hold your hand as we walk the corridors, tracing

footprints down the hospital halls. Your touch

tells me it is for us to be proud of one another,

to be thankful for this gift that has strengthened our bond.

Your touch is music – your words are as old as the sea.

The fire around you

is a bird. It will perch, nest and then next season,

it will be gone.

Your journey is into the hail storm. But you will be healed,

and I will go on loving you like I love you

like the humpback does its song.

 .

 

Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

Published in “Poetry at Sangam” March 2018

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2018/03/march-2018/

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2018/03/allison-grayhurst/

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2018/03/because-i-love-you-by-allison-grayhurst/

.

.

First published in “The Galway Review”

Allison Grayhurst – Five Poems

.

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.

.

Review of ‘The Many Lights of Eden’:
“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder

.

.