Grace Stevenson on Poetry, Transition Periods, and the Power of Community

. 3 min read

Grace Stevenson is an incredible poet and member of the Poetry Community, and someone I'm proud to call a friend. You can find more of her work and reach out to her at @susurruspoetry.

Grace! So honoured to share more about you and your work today. Let's start out with your beginnings: your childhood. Can you paint us a picture of it?

I grew up in a very charming town in rural Quebec. I spent a lot of time reading, daydreaming and running, usually barefoot, through the fields, streams, woods and apple orchards near my home. I was an only child so I spent a lot of time alone.

My household was fairly creative. I was always singing in a choir or involved in a theatre production, there was a big box of art supplies at our house, television was limited and we had so many books, from encyclopedias to poetry collections.

My mother loved to read, and read to me every night. She had an incredible impact on who I am as a woman and a writer. She taught me how to be brave, stand up for what I believe is right and to love with my whole heart. She also passed down her love for creative writing and introduced me to poetry which I am so grateful for. We are still very close and she is my absolute role model.


Before we get into your work, I'd love to hear about the origins of your handle Susurrus Poetry." Is there a meaning behind it?

In the beginning , I suppose I just wanted something unique. But as time went on it grew in meaning. Susurrus is a gentle rustling or whisper. I like to think of it as the sound of a breeze traveling through trees or a field of wheat.

I realized that words travel to me in the same way. They visit me in a whisper and then move on. They don’t belong to me and I must be patient with them. It’s a reminder of what a great blessing and privilege it is to write.

That's beautiful. Thanks for sharing that, love. Now, as for your work, how would you describe it? What would you say your work reflects about where you are in life right now? What does it mean to you?

I would say that I write poetry that covers themes of love, nature and self discovery. In the last year, I've also noticed a distinct theme of healing and growth, which I think is connected to the self discovery aspect of my work.

I'm currently in a transitional season of my life, which means I'm doing a lot of waiting. I've chosen to view this time as an opportunity to learn patience and become more introspective; to be kinder to myself and to accept myself for who I truly am. As a result, I'm healing from past trauma and really getting to know myself for the first time and I think that is often reflected in my poems.

What do you advise someone who has a secret dream of creating but is scared (and blocking him/herself from tapping into his/her creativity)?

I spent far too long avoiding my creative dream because I didn't think I was good enough. If I could give someone advice, I would tell them that it's ok to be afraid, but be creative anyway. Also, find people who share your creative interests and share your work with them. Being around people who are interested in the same things as you is encouraging, fun and inspiring.


Was there a period in your life in which you were not creating?

I've been writing on and off since I was a child. Any period of time I spent away from writing was due a lack of confidence in my creative ability. Sharing my poems and being part of a writing community helped me to gain confidence and learn new skills. With regards to staying inspired, I believe that continuous inspiration comes from continuous observation. There is inspiration all arounds us if we are paying attention to the small details that make up the human experience.
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I find there to be a synergy between letting loose/playing and creativity. What place does play have in your life? And what do you say to someone who feels like they've lost their sense of play/wonder? How can they find it again?

Absolutely! My creative work often requires me to go really deep and it's so important to be able to let go of that heaviness sometimes. Despite the serious nature of my poetry, I'm quite silly in my everyday life. I laugh a lot and love to be around people who do, too.

I think the best way to reconnect with your sense of play is to try something new. I recently started painting and I am not good at it but it's fun to be creative without the pressure to meet a certain expectation. Get out of your comfort zone and don't take yourself too seriously. Allow yourself to let go of perfection.


Is there anything in the works we can look forward to? Any previews we can check out?

I'm planning to start working on my first poetry collection in the near future! In the meantime, you can find my words on Instagram and Tumblr.