Handful of Stallions at Twilight

Carol Lynn Grellas’ book of poetry, “Handful of Stallions at Twilight,” revisits difficult memories about family, and the grief of missing loved ones. The titled poem finds Grellas at her father’s cemetery plot with heartfelt questions that go unanswered. “Was death so sweet a promise no daughter/could call you back?” Her lines are gentle yet strong in her search for truth. These poems are personal landscapes where words hope to make sense of life and loss on a journey of inquiries and illuminations.

–Lara Gularte, Poet Laureate Emeritus, El Dorado County, CA


In her new book “Handful of Stallions at Twilight,” Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas speaks eloquently of life and death. The opening poem tells us that she would like her death to be valued rather than mourned…like a whale carcass on the bottom of the ocean floor becoming food for other creatures. I think how when a poet dies, their words become food for those who still live. We meet members of her family with all their beauty and eccentricities in many of these poems. Once when asked if all her poems were about mother, the answer was yes, in one way or another. These poems speak of deep caring, even a pink house says prayers of love for the woman inside who cries. In the end she assures us that when her body no longer feels the rain she will still be with us like stars seen through an open window.

–Allegra Jostad Silberstein, Poet Laureate Emerita of Davis CA


“If I could have disappeared into another life, it would have been there.”(Save Our Souls) Carol Lynn Grellas’ latest collection, Handful of Stallions at Twilight, does the opposite of disappearance; these lush poems embody the complexity, contradiction, vulnerable and tender beauty of being alive. Grellas writes with a sage’s questions  and  child’s heart, lets the kite out as far as possible, and right before the string breaks (how does she know?)  she pulls the kite in, extends an invitation for coffee, and there on the table is Robert Bly (How to Fall in Love with Robert Bly). This collection addresses trauma, grief for our planet’s demise, how our children’s lives are filigreed on our own, how memory is our constant melody. We find laments and belly laughs (Regarding Your Submission), the grace of small encounters (In the Line at Starbucks) and how the capacity to be fully human depends on relatedness. (Handful of Stallions at Twilight.)


Here is when Grellas’ kite is flying high, “Surely my soul will wake and rise from its sunken bed in search of the Divine as it blooms in effervescence the way champagne bubbles sparkle and dance as they float to the rim of a crystal glass and then roll over the crest onto a thirsty and beautiful tongue.” (If My Death Could Be a Whalefall.)  Then the sharing coffee lines, “It’s not like you can take death with you.” (The Haunting)” “I was never meant to be your Jesus.” (Forgive Me.)” I am the bone that breaks when you tumble from a hollowed tree.” (Memo to My Children.)  Range, depth, and not just a child’s heart, but in her own words, her heart is “a bionic thing with a bright flare inside and not even the cruelest death in spring can stop its craving for light.” (Homage to this Heart.) Lucky us!

–Susan Flynn, author of Seeing Begins in the Dark


Alice in Ruby Slippers

Laced with the elegance and spirituality of well-honed traditional and invented forms, Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas's new collection Alice in Ruby Slippers is an adult's romp through the surreal Wonderland we call life. Just as Lewis Carroll's Alice struggled with the myriad denizens down the rabbit hole, Carol Lynn's Alice, perhaps Carol herself, navigates a deeply poetic landscape of death-lost, gained, and unrequited love-terminal illness, troubled ancestry, and all that makes this world a place we should simultaneously cherish and fear. Alice in Ruby Slippers is a wonderfully imagistic search for sense in the crumbling ruin of our known world. And a wonderful addition to Stevenson's poetic menagerie.

-Indigo Moor, Poet Laureate Emeritus, Sacramento, CA

Alice in Ruby Slippers begs to be read aloud to an audience or a lonely room. These poems lean toward icons of the familiar in a voice we want to draw nearer to. Grellas finds the sweet spot between cadence and language, where rhyme feels unforced and inviting; her poems feel comfortable, gently complex, and warmly nostalgic.

-Glenn Lyvers; Prolific Press.

Alice in Ruby Slippers is intense, full of depth and beautiful yet haunting imagery in these poems plucked from the aching silences and shadows of darkness and grief to speak their most sincere and vulnerable truths.

-Debbie Berk, Founder / Editor, The Stray Branch

Hasty Notes in No Particular Order

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net nominee, and the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her entry Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several collections of poetry and her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines including The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, War, Literature and the Arts; The Department of English at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Able Muse, Poets and Artists, and many more. According to family lore, she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Letters from under the Banyan Tree

Carol Lynn Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and 2010 Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of five chapbooks, Breakfast in Winter (Flutter Press 2010) Litany of Finger Prayers (Pudding House Press 2009) Object of Desire (Finishing Line Press 2008), A Thousand Tiny Sorrows (March Street Press 2010), and two electronic chaps: Desired Things (Goldwake Press 2009) To the Children (Victorian Violet Press 2010) The Butterfly Room (Big Table Publishing ) Carol Lynn's latest collection of poems: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, is forthcoming from March Street Press.

The Wanderer's Dominion

Poetry aficionados, aspiring and accomplished poets alike, will find inspiration in Grellas' poems, seamless, accessibly delivered, and engaged in the legacy of a formal construct that is as revealing and mysterious as the poems themselves. In 'Give-up-the-ghost' the poet affirms her understanding of temporal vs. eternal, the dream world in between, the laborious and often emotionally fraught maze of mortal living and, the belief, or at least the hope, that 'my spirit will transcend/unlocking me so I'm no longer pinned/reborn into an iridescent wind.’
~ Margot Brown is a 2011 Pushcart Prize Nominee, the author of Leave of Absence (Pink Petticoat Press, 2011), and editor, co-editor, and guest editor of multiple anthologies by Fortunate Childe Publications (2009-2012).

An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium

Chronicling her father’s battle with failing health and dementia, the author’s book contains two dozen poems that examine the physical and emotional side of the condition. While Grellas’ father is the one directly impacted by his health, the case of dementia is one that spreads to the entire family. Capturing the emotional turmoil and battle of wills entailed in being the caregiver for one’s own parent, each of these poems offers rays of hope and commiseration for the harder struggles. These poems are not meant to inspire pity or condolences but rather illuminate the feelings and internal dialogue of a person doing everything they can to will a parent back to good health and better days.

Depending on one’s circumstances, these poems will either be eye-opening or aim straight for the heartstrings and memories. Written with a vocabulary that captures every heart swell and crushed hope, the selections are short but make a deep, lasting impact. The poet’s choice of words is light to the point of being ghostly, but underneath feathery metaphors lies the ultimate weight of inevitable mortality. Each poem lies in a sequence that tells a story of good days and eventual decline, ending on the necessity to move on while always remembering. Because of the in-the-moment perspective in these poems, this book may be difficult for someone going through a similar scenario as the author had but should still provide light and catharsis once the struggle of caregiving has ended. Nearly pocket-sized and well able to be read in just an hour or so, this short collection of poems is no less emotional for its brevity.

Epitaph for the Beloved

In this new collection of poems, by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas the familiar becomes magical. Her poems take us on a journey of words infused with beauty and wisdom exploring momentous life events. “and fold up their childhood in cardboard boxes…the way their hands smell of water and starlight.” (When They Finally Grow Up) “Do you have a pillowed place beneath your leaves for a body to lie down and nestle…Are you the kind of tree that knows you’re more than a tree, the hum of everything?”(Solicitation of a Tree) “I wake in the morning the wren perched on the sill, the two of us still braided together.” (“Ritual Regarding Nakedness”) Spend some time wandering the pages of this book and you will discover the words that resonate with your own feelings of loss, illumination, entrances, and departures. –
-Jennifer O’Neill Pickering, author of Blooming in Winter
In Epitaph for the Beloved, we are given gently orchestrated poems of life, love, and loss that serve as urgent reminders of essential bonds of humanity, the moments that catch us out and bring us sometimes to laughter, sometimes to tears. Living is a messy business, filled with humor & pique and Ms. Grellas has captured the experience of living with great care, in detailed moments of gardening, movie watching, or the exhausting desire of loved ones. With these poems, Grellas has something to say to people for a very long time, especially as the world seems to shift to casual barbarism, her poems are urgent reminders of the pulse that beats beneath the wrists and in the hearts of people in the everyday. These are poems to be read and then leisured over, returned, and reflected on as one would a beloved memory, coming to a better understanding of the world with each return visit.
–Brendan McEntee, author of Servicing Nostalgia (Alabaster Leaves)

On the Edge of the Ethereal

The ability to visualize another world is a writer’s great gift – a gift evident in the poetry of Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas. On the Edge of the Ethereal, her latest is the collection, is a dark and beautiful book filled marvelously with the nature of loss, pain and its evasion, leaving, things left unsaid, “inhaling a world gone wrong,” as she writes in “Elegy with a Vision in the Room.” Grellas is a remarkable poet with an unflinching eye and ear for details. The writing is a powerful, rewarding journey, and not to be missed.

Sam Rasnake, editor of Blue Fifth Review

These poems weave together the layers of intensity between love and grief, many of them exploring latitudes of acute experience where joy and sadness are two sides of the same coin. This is not a collection of elegies in a traditional sense, but rather a devotion on cherishing the beauty of those we love in the face of mortality. Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas conveys an ephemeral mood of enchantment, where loved ones are cherished and even bereavement aspires to a state of grace.

Vera Ignatowitsch

On the Edge of the Ethereal is a powerful collection of poetry by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas. Poems like “Getting over a Suicide / Daughter's Project” and “October at the Funeral” tear down into the reader's heart and wrench a flurry of grief, pain, and ruin. The author makes us feel heavy, gut-punching us as we move through each page. On the Edge is a wonderfully written book, one that is all too powerful to read through once.

Weasel, The Dude of Weasel Press and Author of “We Don't Make It Out Alive”

In the Making of Goodbyes

"In the Making of Goodbyes" explores every aspect of loss and death in heartbreakingly beautiful language. The poet weaves nature throughout and uses small homely details such as a flower’s scent or the smell of a man’s cigarette, the sound of wind chimes, with which any reader will be able to identify and feel familiar to his or her own experience. For someone who has lost both parents, this book is a hymnal on how to learn to live with that loss and to keep on

Things I Can't Remember to Forget

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives and writes in California. She has won the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems, Hasty Notes in No Particular order (Aldrich Press). According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Things I Can't Remember to Forget is a beautiful collection of thoughtful poems, full of ripe femininity and purposeful language that cuts Grellas from the pack. She is a unique voice, careful and precise, demonstrating a surety of expression and style that allows the reader to step through the veil and into the deeply raw world that only Grellas can show us. She is a pure soul, unhidden, something we rarely see today. If you have stood in front of the World Peace Bell in Kentucky, with its 73,000 pounds of aching reverberation, something felt through your core, rattling your spine, unhinging your jaw, then you might have an inkling of the power Grellas presses into the hearts of her readers. These poems ring, and once rung, cannot be unheard. Buy this book.


Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas’s voice reaches us clearly, yet as if in a dream, in “List Poem without Prejudice:”

Once the radio sounded better in a blue Ford 
station wagon when music was amplified by tears
and several puffs from your father’s cigarette
wafted your way through clouds
long after he died.

The book’s title makes no bones what sort of a ride you’re in for, a signal reaffirmed in titles of Grellas’s individual poems like “In the Emptying of Pockets,” or “You’re Dying, Darling.” Grellas does not disappoint, in this unflinching collection singed with emotion, and bristling with small but trenchant detail.

Breakfast in Winter

this book is out of print 

Object of Desire

Carol Lynn Grellas is a three-time Pushcart nominee and the author of A Thousand Tiny Sorrows, soon to be released from March Street Press and two chapbooks: Litany of Finger Prayers, Pudding House Press and Object of Desire, Finishing Line Press. She is widely published in magazines and online journals including most recently, The Centrifugal Eye, Oak Bend Review and deComp, with work upcoming in OVS and Saw Palm Florida Literature and Art. She lives with her husband, five children, and a little blind dog who sleeps in the bathtub.

A Thousand Tiny Sorrows

A Thousand Tiny Sorrows

Litany of Finger Prayers

out of print

Epistemology of an Odd Girl

this book is out of print 

The Butterfly Room

out of print