Do not define me

.

Do not define me

 .

Do not define me

as a woman, or a wheel

of rolling curves, with lipstick

in my pocket and perfect polish on my shoes. I am

not interested in shoes.

I carry this body with two breasts and I have born and raised

children like a sacred treaty between the unmarked countries

of time and infinity. I have loved with two arms,

lived with thoughts of Schopenhauer in my sleep and nurtured

the orphan pup. Do not define me –

my sexuality is not confined to the tender receiving sigh,

not to the congregation of gossip and giggles

and the making of apple strudel. I do not knit,

though I bow to the knitters

more than I do to the intellectuals, and gossip bores me.

Talking bores me unless it is about God or the many ways

we are given to love – children, animals, art.

(Lover’s love I only speak about in poetry, because that is

private). Do not define me. I would love to be

straight lines, proudly hanging, perfectly clear.

I would like to be brutal. Women can be brutal,

can be like a smile –

gloriously giving, razor sharp, androgynously

beautiful.

 

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allision-grayhurst.html?spref=fb

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66ClMlFIWWU5cTY2RTQ/view

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Published in “Elephant Journal” September 2015

Elephant Journal 6   Elephant Journal 1

Elephant Journal 10Elephant Journal 2 Elephant Journal 3 Elephant Journal 4 Elephant Journal 5

Street Art Everywhere 1 Street Art Everywhere 2Elephant Journal 11 NoteyNotey 2

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/09/do-not-define-me-a-poem-for-all-women/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/?s=poem

http://www.notey.com/blogs/women?page=2

http://picbi.com/photo/1081180913292665793_202668959

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Published in “Blue Lake Review”

blue-lake-review-1 blue-lake-review-2 blue-lake-review-3

http://bluelakereview.weebly.com/do-not-define-me.html

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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.

.

“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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Surrogate Dharma

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Surrogate Dharma

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I didn’t think I would get lost

or be chained to a contractual victory.

I thought a grain would grow,

become a solid garden. Fires would come, then

firefighters. I would be testifying about

the worth of what survived.

    That is not what happened. I fell prey

to the propaganda of affirmations,

to the volume of control I could contain.

My dream dropped out of me

like a miscarriage. I hoped I could forget:

Tie my shoes, zip up a coat

and kiss the shelter I have. Bridges here and there –

they are not mine to travel.

Vinegar keeps getting injected into my bones,

replacing the marrow with

its potent clarity. Do you see? I am getting older.

It will be over

and I have to be able to say I served well.

My mouth opens and folds like a fledgling wing.

People pass – each one a violin note, a digit, a reluctant

panting pitch. Conversations are ash.

I don’t like living in these elements, my neck

stretched up into the dense middle

of a monsoon. Let me climb,

dragging this dead beast behind me.

Let me live where my father went to school,

on a Himalayan peak.

I am not a petal. My courage is fickle, it fortifies or fades,

dependent each day on mutual obligatory infatuation.

    I can’t keep pretending:

The sun is strong. The night is strong. I am not stronger.

    I am in this hovel with my lamp, tasting metal

of varying textures –

rusted, gold, and other star-erupted symbols –

greeting obscurity, broken toenails

I can’t be bothered to trim. How many rooms, my God?

How much waiting and walking, and the fish? I could be a fish. Make me

one of those – sliding about, weaving with one full-body stroke

through a lush intricate terrain, mastering

a juicy undergrowth.

.

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Surrogate Dharma” e-chapbook Kind of a Hurricane Press

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 29Surrogate Dharma chapbook 2

 

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allison-grayhurst.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66CldFQtSDd1aTBncm8/view

.

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.

.

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.

“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.

“One of the best contemporary poetry books I have read and my favorite by Allison Grayhurst. I have this (The River is Blind) in paperback and find I come back to it often. I am very impressed that her poetry 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.

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Surrogate Dharma – new chapbook

My new e- chapbook Surrogate Dharma – Barometric Pressures Author Series, Kind of a Hurricane Press, October 2014, is available for free viewing or download via the links or clicking on the book cover below:

 Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 29

 

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 2

 

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allison-grayhurst.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66CldFQtSDd1aTBncm8/view

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Creativity

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Creativity

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Peeled of my own death,

entering a corridor of dawn,

heat without fire,

a staircase into the void,

buried in the gas furnace, this

guest that never comes, eats bread

or slips into the cradle of a comfortable

home. Pen and beauty, an inevitable

loneliness that victory cannot solve,

a transitory opera, bird songs, fragile,

almost breaking, vibrating at a desperate

but soft speed.

 

A woodland to walk through that inherits

a shadow canopy darkness. Walk through

regardless of doubts full-blown,

regardless of scrapes across your tender surface.

Love is just an image

as you walk,

sounds are menacing but

never reach crescendo,

never sustain the heavier beat that leads

to ecstasy’s blackout.

 

        Leaves become teeth.

        Impressions are unkind.

        Your husk is broken

        and your blood is a heap of

        dead violets crushed

        in a celebrated summer.

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Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

Walkways cover 2

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allision-grayhurst.html?spref=fb

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66ClMlFIWWU5cTY2RTQ/view

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First published in “The Continuist”, June 2014 and print 2015/2016

“We’ve recently received the work of Toronto poet Allison Grayhurst, 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. Check out her impressive resume and poems below:,” David Eatock, The Continuist.

The Continuist book Creativity 1 The Continuist book Creativity 2 The Continuist Creativity 3

 

 

The Continuist 1The Continuist 2The Continuist Creativity 1The Continuist Creativity 2

http://thecontinuist.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/poetry-by-allison-grayhurst/

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

“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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Changing Skins

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Changing skins

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Months behind my eyes, splicing nerves, bonds,

virtues that have kept me solid.

As I look, my desires are dilating,

taking more in, red with surrender

and wanting to germinate but not here,

not beneath this sheet, but in the breeze,

to grow special, purer than a weed, expand,

not interacting with the elements but part of

them, geometrical, saving space, knowing passion like

a labour – confined to a pattern, somehow

boundless. Joy. I stand a virgin in your honeymoon.

I am made up of sunsets and dreamy afterglows. I am

putting this on, demanding as intoxication, kneeling in this

costume, assuming I am dependable, but

I am not. I should close these shutters, marry a

soft genuine smile. I should care more. So much

that is done is done, fatal, heavy as a hanging. If I could

dig behind my sockets and make a window, I would. I would

walk away, but lust is water, and more than lust

is worth every star.

.

.

Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allision-grayhurst.html?spref=fb

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66ClMlFIWWU5cTY2RTQ/view

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First published in “The Undertow Review”

Undertow Review 4Undertow Review 1Undertow Review 3undertow-review-5

http://theundertowreview.webs.com/poetry

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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.

.

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.

.

“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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Circle

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Circle

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       Breathing into a brown paper bag, responsibilities

weighing me down, spreading out, hiding

in my speech, making up lies to

lie across me bare-chest and crushing.

       I’ve slept in a pantry with roaches and a window

with a full view of an unkempt backyard,

but never did I suspect that my love would wane,

polarizing my impulses and my apathy.

There was only one choice, a card turned and midnight

streaming into my veins like celestial pull and light

into the astrologer.

       Fighting is a fiddler playing – tension to maximize

the resulted genesis, or a room where rhymes

are written across the door frame. In that room I clip

my fingernails, waiting for admittance to foreplay,

something to electrify my sinews and sing.

       Intimacy is a garden to plant or to let flourish

on its own accord, with eatable weeds

and dung beetles foraging.

Summer is slipping fast – with worry-wrought eyes,

under satisfied.

Summer beats its sloppy heat on my shoulders,

on eyelashes, volunteering

its blaze and affirming breath.

 

       I remember how it happened, listening

to lost friends voices on an answering machine. Some I wish

I never lost, most just conjure memory without emotion,

sure of why the break occurred, and glad

it did.

       Drip, drip dreams betrayed,

looking over old books in an old bookshop, where

I used to treasure the smell and the surprise.

       Ghosts enter me, collect and layer,

amplifying their mass, personal

tangibility.

       Age does not slow or still desires.

Age does not make both arms free. I am the same,

 

as when my phantom wings expanded,

extended,

past hydro wires and mating cardinals, touching

the misty tip of a cumulus cloud.

.

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Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview (3)

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allision-grayhurst.html?spref=fb

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66ClMlFIWWU5cTY2RTQ/view

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First published in “Straylight”

img411img412img413img414img415img416img417

 

Straylight – Contributors

Straylight – Grayhurst

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

Circle

 

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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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Complete, but

.

Complete, but

  .

            to no avail. Sitting as a new house sits

on its lot, needing occupants.

Sewer sludge, soiled napkins, anthills

too late underfoot. Held up by restlessness in the many gardens

of Mount Sisyphus, heave-hoe to the point

of rudimentary madness. Windows I look through, birch trees

I stop at to collect nuances, rest like the sparrow in hopeful

camouflage, wearing myself down with unrealizable dreams.

If I had claimed myself a calling

as a chaplain – ritualized pacing in university halls, my arm

around youth, accompanying my affection

with a spiritual smile, then I would have

the certainty of some kind of career, not be a carved body

on fire, totem of tripwires and earthquakes.

If I was a young starling neck deep in uncut grass,

pecking at exposed roots, I would be

sky, downspout, bush, tip of a cross on a steeple,

cured of isolation, taking flight and landing when I choose and

I would choose a fenced-in backyard

where a boy’s imagination owns the splintered bench, weeds

and a dug-up secret hole. I would watch that boy plot his course

and leap, knowing no separation,

I would spread, sing

and fold.

.

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Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview (3)

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allision-grayhurst.html?spref=fb

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66ClMlFIWWU5cTY2RTQ/view

.

First published in “Pyrokinection” February 2014 and “Storm Cycle 2014” August 2015

pyroPyro complete but 1Pyro complete but 2pyro bioStorm Cycle 2014 1

Storm Cycle 2014 2 Storm Cycle 2014 3 Storm Cycle 2014 4 Storm Cycle 2014 5 Storm Cycle 2014 6

http://www.pyrokinection.com/2014/02/a-poem-by-allison-grayhurst.html

http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Cycle-2014-Various-Authors/dp/151434856X/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1440365064&sr=8-9&keywords=storm+cycle

Storm Cycle 2014 Anthology — ebook file (2)

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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.
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