Emily Ruth Verona
Grace R. Reynolds Interview
This week we are hearing from Grace R. Reynolds, author of the upcoming poetry collection The Lies We Weave from Curious Corvid Publishing. Her debut poetry collection, Lady of the House, was released by Curious Corvid in 2021 and continues to stun with her brilliant approach to a housewife’s struggle during the 1940s. With The Lies We Weave, Grace explores womanhood, motherhood, and generational trauma through a raw, spellbinding lens.
Read the full interview below.
Did you come up with the concept for The Lies We Weave ahead of time, or was it after you’d already written some of the poems? When did you begin working on the book?
Readers familiar with my poetry know that mental health is a recurrent theme in my work. I believe that fear and shame keep us from stepping into our power and being the best version of ourselves. I loosely devised the concept for The Lies We Weave sometime last year and began working on it in the early summer of 2022.
I started out writing fiction and didn’t find my poetic voice until just a few years ago. Have you always been drawn to poetry or did you start out writing somewhere else? I know you’ve also published short fiction.
I was drawn to poetry at a young age but didn’t fall in love with it until I found a copy of Sylvia Plath’s postmortem collection Ariel in my high school’s library. I started out as a storyteller, though, and I appreciate both writing forms as they challenge me to encapsulate emotion and story into short lines or pages.
Do you remember which poem was the first one you knew would be going in this collection? Did that selection impact the way you framed the rest of the work?
A. The first poem I wrote for the collection was "Goosegrass", a reflection on my musings about our names' power. It framed the rest of the collection as one that posed many questions for introspection on identity and agency.
The Lives We Weave is a very personal collection for you and I think it will resonate deeply with a lot of women. How did you realize or decide that now is the time to share it?
For so much of my life, I’ve been preoccupied with making myself small, rarely giving myself permission to take up space in any capacity. I let my insecurities and past traumas tell me I was something I was not. When I became a mother, I started seeing myself in a new light and became compassionate toward the person I used to be despite all my pain. This book is a love letter to her and all women who have ventured too far into the darkness, forgotten who they were, with no knowable way back to themselves.
Was there a poem that felt particularly challenging to shape, more so than the others?
The third section of my collection, which heavily focuses on motherhood, was incredibly challenging to form. As a parent, I examined my fears in my role as a mother, and more often than not, my concern was rooted in my own shortcomings. It was a lot to admit to myself that, perhaps, I was not enough, and it was vital to explore those feelings for my own healing and my children's emotional well-being. Even still, I chose to meet the versions of myself as a new mother with grace and room for growth.
How do you feel now that the book is complete?
I feel content and ready to move forward. I don’t know how the book will be received, as it is so different from my narrative collection Lady of The House, but I hope readers will find verses they connect to within its pages.
Horror poetry has really emerged as an incredible facet of the horror sphere in recent years. What do you think about where it’s headed?
The future of horror poetry is bright. One need only look at the landscape to see that it is flourishing. I've met readers who did not know horror poetry existed, the revelation of which made them ecstatic! Craft-specific books for speculative poetry, like Writing Poetry in the Dark, edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming Press), encourage writers to experiment with the craft. Authors and readers see the power and effect of the brevity of poetic verse as an art form. It is evident that there is an environment that will nourish this facet of the genre as it continues to grow.
This is your second book with Curious Corvid and you were featured in The Corvid Grimoire: Volume One last year. What’s your favorite thing about working with the press?
There are many things I appreciate about working with Curious Corvid Publishing. However, my favorite thing about this press is their unwavering passion and drive to lift up and support their authors. When you work with Curious Corvid Publishing, you know you are working with a publisher who respects you, your story, and will promote your work.
As a young publisher, they strive to learn new techniques to better serve their authors and are assertive. They participated in the LA Times Festival of Books with the Writers and Publishers Network in their first year alone. They will attend the festival again this year and several other book festivals nationwide. Curious Corvid Publishing’s commitment to their authors and changing the literary sphere for the better with initiatives like Bookery spreads positivity and tenacity that is absolutely infectious.
Do you have any other work coming out this year you’d like to tell people about?
My lips are sealed! I have a few projects I am working on, to include two more poetry collections and a novella.
What’s your favorite recent read? Any genre or category. It doesn’t have to be horror.
I devoured Stargazers by L.P. Hernandez (Cemetery Gates Media) in a day! It is an incredibly unsettling piece of dystopian horror where one is safe from the eerie phenomena that takes hold of the world in Hernandez’s book. Fans of epistolary horror or the post-apocalyptic drama The Last of Us (Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann) should pick up this book immediately.
Thank you so much for talking to Frightful!
The Lies We Weave hits shelves on April 1, 2023.
Grace R. Reynolds is a native of the great state of New Jersey, where she was first introduced to the eerie and strange thanks to local urban legends of a devil creeping through the Pine Barrens. Since then, her curiosity with things that go bump in the night bloomed into creative expression as a dark poet, horror, and thriller fiction writer.
When Grace is not writing she can be found dreaming up macabre scenarios inspired by the mundane realities of life. Her short fiction and poetry has been published by various presses, including Brigid’s Gate Publishing, Creature Publishing, Dark Matter Magazine, Death Knell Press, and more. She is the author of two poetry collections, Lady of The House (2021) and The Lies We Weave (2023), both released by Curious Corvid Publishing.
Instagram: @spillinggrace Twitter: @spillinggrace Website: www.spillinggrace.com