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.

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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 1260 poems published in over 500 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.

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

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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

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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. Also, 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). More recently, her book Tadpoles Find the Sun is soon to be published by Cyberwit, 2020.

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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.  

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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

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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

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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.

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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 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

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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:  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

 

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Like A Wave

Like A Wave

In the obscure attempts

to do more than survive, tomorrow is but

a wishing well where all the fish

have turned belly-up.

But the journey down is sacred,

more like flying than falling,

reflecting like a crystal its rainbow colours.

Into my 30’s like out of a war zone,

saying goodbye to the dead and amputees.

Fresh is the light, though I carry on a string

a grey cloud of memories.

Love is never a metaphor, though it

recognizes itself in infinite ways.

It is a servant of the living,

mutable as sound.

How do I tell the thing

that is brittle from the thing that is brave?

In sorrow, I left the highway to find a home.

I found a tenderness and left my shell abandoned.

Beauty is curved like the wave of a rapid river.

It carries me to a path of bread and struggling purity.

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Copyright 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “The Toronto Quarterly”, 2012

The Toronto QuarterlyThe Toronto Quarterly 1The Toronto Quarterly 3The Toronto Quarterly 4The Toronto Quarterly 5

http://www.lulu.com/shop/darryl-salach/the-toronto-quarterly-issue-nine/paperback/product-20342044.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

https://allisongrayhurst.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/like-a-wave.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.

Rodents and Wings

Rodents and Wings

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Days of holding up the second wall,

sustaining with syringe feedings and lifting

the broken Venetian blinds.

Days of extremes, straining to stay afloat

in a flood of despair and then given a

miracle season of joy until misfortune overtook again.

 

You told me to walk, and I did. You told me

in order to heal the wound, I must first see the wound.

You told to keep the water moving,

make waves with my hands and never stop

stroking the surface.

I loved without complaint- washed tiny toes in the sink,

kissed a forehead, made medicine in the kitchen.

My efforts worked, for a while

until they stopped working and death had its claim.

 

At the exact moment of death as I watched a body

struggle to sustain breath then stop struggling,

you gave me sight to see a spirit rising,

speaking of thanks and love and vows,

showed me the ropes of attachment, strings of light

that need release before a soul can give way to illumination,

dissolve intact, no vigor or sorrow, but merging with the whole,

into the light that is blackness, that is not void

but the absorption of all colour, holy.

 

You showed me and still I grew angry and embittered,

at a loss for comfort, destroyed of trust.

Two days I lingered enveloped in this terrible flame,

weeping, separated from the dance. On the third day,

you came again, pointing out

a passage of perfect meaning, allowing the sun

to glow and others to be stronger than me.

 

Crystal patterns converging. A crack muted,

a rift mended and filled, memories

and the harshness of a permanent end.

Two islands to surrender to,

two secrets painted on the beach,

on the backyard shed, in the inside,

giving in fully to emptiness overtaking,

as the calm begins to carve out a niche

where it can revive, return pure, all parts

tethered faithfully to the wind.

 

© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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Published in “Along the Way: A Contemporary Poetry Anthology” December 2018

Poetry Anthology

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First published in “On Possibility: Poems and Poetry” January 2018

http://onpossibilitypoems.blogspot.ca/2018/01/two-poems-allison-grayhurst.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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