First published in “Profiles in Poetry Literary Zine” October 2015
What drives you to write?
I write poetry because I have to. It sustains me; it keeps me sane, connects me to God and exposes my own personal truths.
How did you get started?
I started writing, mostly short stories, at the end of elementary school. In my first year of high school, I began to write poetry – not complete poems, but I started to explore articulating images with language. The real first poet I read in depth was Pablo Neruda, but I had been writing poetry many years before that.
Who are the best poets around right now?
Even though they are dead, in my opinion, the best poets that I have read areTheodore Roethke, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Rainer Marie Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Dylan Thomas.
Where are the best places to publish?
A lot of the smaller indie presses – online and in print (or both) are great, as they don’t seem to have an agenda or pre-conceived intellectual ideas or what poetry should or should not be. Most people operating these presses are poets themselves and do it solely out of love of poetry and in establishing a sense of community amongst writers.
What are you reading right now?
The Hills Beyond by Thomas Wolfe.
What advice would you give to other writers?
I don’t have any advice, but for me, I write a lot. I also throw out 90 per cent or more of what I write. I write only when I feel an inner push, a necessity to write. Also, I have had to learn that there is no one way, one place to write, it happens when it must- making diner, having a shower, before bed, walking the dog or sitting still in the morning when everone else in the household is asleep. Sometimes it doesn’t happen for weeks or months, and that too is part of process.
“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’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.