REVIEWS OF THREE SPACES
‘FIVE STARS’ ‘Fun, capricious, sexy and insightful’ ~ Review by ‘EditorPete’
on NOOK BOOKS http://www.bn.com
The three spaces in question are public, personal and cyber, and in this tasty smorgasbord of poetic and visual delights, Grace Stewart skips back and forth among those three spaces. It’s fun, capricious, sexy and insightful. The fact that such a thing as a “Lockdown Nursery Rhyme” exists is a reminder that contemporary observers of the human condition like Grace Stewart are faced with social scenarios her poetic forebears couldn’t have imagined, but she manages to round them up, rein them in, and make them dance to her spritely airs. Give it a read.
“Buy this book. Get hooked.
Add it to your space. You won’t be disappointed.”
~Elisa Lorello, Best-selling Author: Faking It, Ordinary World, Singlehood, Adulation
Heather Grace Stewart brings tenderness to the page addressing modern-day reality, gracefully and unconventionally, yet heart-felt. Three Spaces is to be read when you need inspiring words to mend your monkey mind.
~Michelle L. Casto, Destiny Mentor and Author of The Destiny Discovery: Find Your Soul’s Path to Success.
What impresses me most about Heather Grace Stewart’s work is her cool professionalism. There is not a word or image out of place in this book. Everything that has been selected to appear on these pages has tremendous style and not a little panache. She is a poet whom people hunger to read, such is her command of language, and there is a rightness in her purposes and a genuine goodness in what she is aiming to achieve. I genuinely cannot think of a more exciting artist in North America at this time.’
~ Tony Lewis-Jones, Welsh Book of the Year Nominee, Bristol Evening Post Poet-in-Residence, author of Anytime and ten other collections
‘Heather Grace Stewart’s work is a breath of fresh air. She writes from the heart with such pureness and vulnerability. I couldn’t put this book down, as I truly connected with her words and could relate to her, even though we have never met.
~ Arianna Merritt, M.Ed., Founder of Arianna’s Random Thoughts, Author of Stand Tall & Speak From the Heart
REVIEWS OF THE FRIENDS I’VE NEVER MET – A SCREENPLAY
~Actor Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains -USA Network, What Women Want) praised my script for being “honest, truthful, funny and smart, with an accessible story line and characters the audience will relate to.”“An inspiring story. Innovative and witty.”
~WILDSOUND Screenplay Festival (Toronto)
“I loved it. Sensitive, insightful and funny! Let me know when we get to do the reading!”
~Actress Forbes Riley (24, The Pretender, The Practice)
REVIEWS OF CARRY ON DANCING
The variety is perfect, some biting short pieces, some longer political strophes and “lifeprose”.
You can feel the pulse of this poet, the strong life in her pieces…
In All the Things, I got my first set of chills,”It’s no surprise/the tide’s come in,/ yet we’re still wading”. Pregnant with her style, this starts the reader off on such a reality based faith in light after dark…
Admittedly, I love short burst poems and Heather delivers these, salty sweet,in her graceful nature-oriented style. In Crazy Lovely World, “crazy lovely world/razor sharp icicle swords/change a loving sky”.
My absolute favorites are Winter Love “I am your bough;/ I will not break.” And To The Sea, “Our work can wait/a day or more;/for the sea, and sand, and ocean floor.”
These are fearless, sassy, smart, aware, community/life based poems.
Definetly worth the buy…
Next book when?
I have just finished reading Heather Grace Stewart’s latest collection of poetry, Carry on Dancing, for the second time and can say, in all honesty, that I love her work.
Again, she has produced a variety of pieces which reflect life in today’s world. She uses her experiences of life to offer us her view on how to survive and live life to the full; how appreciating the simple things in life can bring fulfilment. The poet obviously finds great joy in her young daughter and some of the poems refer in some way to childhood and seeing life through a child’s eyes; I like these a lot.
I was deeply touched by several poems in the book, especially “When I Finally Make Starlight”, “The Silence and the Sound” and “How He Held Her”. I chuckled at the humour in “Turning the Other Cheek” and “Tinkering”……in fact, there is very little not to like or love about this collection! I am so pleased that I own this book; the work within is well worth revisiting, time and again.
Heather has matured with her style and words in this collection and has created an even more moving collection of poems with her third collection Carry On Dancing. She mixes belly laugh inspiring humour with raw real life heart touching emotions together to take you through a journey you won’t soon forget. Poems that made me stop because I could relate to the emotions expressed on the page, like Frankenstein, and more that made me giggle because I didn’t want to become “THAT author”, I enjoyed every turn of the page. The love and laughs kept me wanting more. This definitely will be a collection, much like her other two, that I will read again and again.
I don’t read poetry very often but I’m glad I did with Carry on Dancing, as it brought out the beauty and emotions surrounding relationships and the world in which we live. Some poems made me smile, others nod and think, yes, that’s how it is, and yet others brought a tear to the eye.
All are easy to read, but within the simplicity is heartfelt emotion and layer upon layer of meaning, by which each reader can find something to understand and relate.
A worthwhile collection
Carry On Dancing Heather Grace Stewart
A lovely collection of poetry. Each one brought upon its own emotion, and I had a hard time choosing my favorites. I have to admit I did connect with Words, All The Things, The Waiting Hour, Frankenstein & Carry On Dancing. These are just a few of my favorites. I have not read many books of poetry, But [author:Heather Grace Stewart|1070423] has brought out a desire in me to read more.
I look forward to reading her book Leap.
Heather Grace Stewart has once again grasped the heart of many in her latest collection, Carry On Dancing. Life is filled with so many pressures that take up our daily lives that sometimes we forget about the simple things that make up moments that will last a lifetime. Family is a very important part of making up these memories whether it is having a daughter go through a “boobies” phase or having a loved one go off to war and live the flood of emotions of having them gone or if it is losing a loved one.
I can promise you that Stewart has provided at least one poem, if not more, that will stay in your mind and become the inspiration of your day. The title of the book has more to it than just dancing. It is a metaphor to live life after “lessons learned”, to simply move forward in tough times and remember the memories that kept you smiling. She teaches us how to “Believe” that you can be a child at heart and that if you want, you can live in their world. It proves true that if you are in a difficult situation to remember that you are “Living” and to take a deep breath so you can “Carry on Dancing”. The book also dives into reality, as “Guns” are debated in the world as they protect but sometimes they also lead into the most painful “Goodbyes”. But in the end Stewart teaches me that “When I Finally Make Starlight”, my legacy will never be gone.
Stewart has proven to be a great writer and friend to all of her fans and I just love the warm feeling that always is radiating from her collections.
I have to disclose that poetry is not my favorite reading material. I appreciate it as an art form but I find I usually have to be in the mood or, at least, a mood to read it. This particular author and this book specifically may have changed all that. I was given this book by a friend who clearly knows what I like and what’s better for me than I do. I found the poetry to have such a broad range of appeal for me personally that I was attaching life moments to every single one of them. I identified with them less as poems and more as scenic thoughts-if that makes any sense. I shared a lot of them with my daughter which led to interesting discussions since she took meanings from them tailored to her 13 years. I want to read more from this author and even more of her poetry. Soon.
If you’ve treated yourself to Where The Butterflies Go and Leap, then you’ll know there’s no denying the talent of this fantastic Canadian Poet, but it is in her third collection, Carry on Dancing, where her voice REALLY comes into her own. To pick a favorite from this collection would be impossible, but if you’re looking for a powerful example of the strength of this writer, might I recommend On Days Like This “Carry On Dancing” is not all rainbows and butterflies. Heather tackles some very big issues, from her life and from the world. It’s a must read for fans of contemporary poetry and I can NOT recommend it enough.
REVIEWS OF LEAP
January 22, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Touched my Heart
by Andrea E.
Amazon.com reader review
Heather put into words some of the feelings in my heart! Her visualizations were heartfelt and quite vivid. I enjoyed reading all these writings and they took me on an emotional journey that was a wonderful experience. It was easy to read on my phone in bits and pieces and I have since gone back and reread it multiple times, each time experiencing it again in a different way. Heather has put together a great collection and I highly recommend it!
Oct. 5, 2011
By Poet Adam White
“Heather Grace Stewart’s work is a joy to read. In thinking about what draws me so much to her style, I had to read back through the body of work she has provided for public consumption and nail down the precise X-factor that she has. If it is anything, it is her developed sense of self, her often sly social commentary and a well nurtured sense of humour about the whole sorry affair we call life.”
Oct. 3, 2011
By arkofthetwilight at Lulu.com
“What to say about Leap? Heather Grace Stewart pitches her poetry somewhere between the world we see and regret not having the strength to change as adults, and the world as it can only be experienced through the eyes and words of a child. At times her work betrays an honesty and sadness that breaks the heart both through shocking honesty and the capacity to make people understand her unique but identifiable feminine standpoint. I will never regret my purchase of this collection. Heather Grace Stewart is a rare and brilliant talent, no matter which poetic medium she turns her hand to.
Reviews in iBOOKS
Five stars doesn’t do it justice. A wonderful, heart-lifting read.
Ashleigh, iBook buyer
The best of both worlds
A wondrous synthesis of technological and organic beauty.
Painfully raw in parts, utterly hilarious in others – always sincere.
A great read altogether.
This book is fabulous!
by Larry Leitner
Leap is the second compilation of poetry by this talented Canadian. As with her first book “Where the Butterflies Go”, She is able to take you on a journey of the emotions of life. She is able to see life more clearly that almost anyone I have read. There are times she is able to see it through the eyes of her young daughter who happens to be on the book’s cover. There are poems about Loss, Love and Life in general. There will be tears, there will be laughter and everything in between. Beautifully illustrated by Ms. Grace Stewart’s own Photography.
“These accomplished but unforced pieces, engage, entertain and enliven.” Tom Phillips, UK poet and reviewer, Various Artists
“..so direct, political and feminine by turns that it can take your breath away. A must for new and already hooked fans.” -Sally Evans, poet and Editor, Poetry Scotland.
By Kimberly Jurado
Wow! From the cover photo to “page from my notebook” in the back, I thoroughly enjoyed this work of art! Refreshingly modern poetry with timeless sentiment woven throughout. Autumn Will, Valley, and Five Thousand Friends (FUN social networking poem) are three of my favorites from this collection of real life poems and photographs. I discovered the author through an Internet search for “facebook, friends, poem” and her work has intrigued me ever since! A big thank you to Heather Grace Stewart for being in tune with the world and for believing in the power of poetry to connect people — whether they are friends, strangers or even a world apart.
Mar. 28, 2010 By Elisa Lorello
Heather Grace Stewart has outdone herself with this collection. These are modern poems for a modern world, full of humor, sincerity, moxie, and sensual beauty. The accompanying photographs add a sense of wonder and depth, and make you want to jump into every scene. Heather Grace Stewart has taken the Leap into greatness, and we cannot help but follow in her footsteps. A must-own for every woman (and man, too!).
Mar. 25, 2010 By Adam Taylor
Buy this.. now! Don’t walk, don’t run…. LEAP! As always Heather captures tiny pieces of life and magnifies them into their most radiant and decadent. A pleasure.
Apr. 28, 2010 By Robert Gervais
The poem ‘Forever August keeps calling me back to my copy of Leap. By way of contrast, I love the black and white instantaneity/foreverness of ‘Coping.’ Heather Grace Stewart has a fine hand that knows how to dip into the emotional well and then paint outside the lines, outside the box, outside of herself, where everyone else is. She has a gift of looking inside a minute, seeing what makes it tick and then explaining it to us. Bravo.
Mar. 8, 2010 By movemout Absolutely love this book! Heather is such a gifted poet. She captured me from the first words, I could not put this book down until I had read it all. Now to read it again and again and savour it. Thanks Heather, what a wonderful gift to the world!
‘She shows us ourselves. That is a rare gift’ ~Poet Mark Stratton
Poetry is a field of writing that requires a bit more attention to read than does fiction or non-fiction. Poetry lacks the linear motion of prose. Lingering over a poem, gently contemplating the words, thoughts and emotions of the poet can leave a satisfied feeling with the reader, depending on the poet. With Leap, Canadian Poet Heather Grace Stewart has crafted a collection of poetry and photographs that is very satisfying.
Subjects in this collection run the gamut from the tragedy of 9/11 to the joys of parenthood, to simply observing and recording the world around her. Her inspirations are quite clear and quite accessible. That accessibility is what makes Leap a success as a collection. Stewart has taken poetry out of the Academy and placed it in the hands of people eager to be inspired to create and not be baffled by the poets meaning.
Her poems are clear, honest and rich in detail. Sorrow, confusion, love, satisfaction and humor are to be found in her words. At times playful, and at others as subtle as a Mack truck, Stewart lays out her thoughts and feelings in a fashion that is both enjoyable and thought provoking. With a clarity of vision and writing that is deceptively simple, yet all the more rewarding for the thoughtfulness in the poems.
Richly illustrated with sharp color photographs, all save one taken by Stewart herself, the book reads quietly yet fluidly. There is a grand flow, a deliberate pace and building and letting down of emotions and subject matter. Serious thought went into the ordering of the poems, and placement of the photographs to create more than a poetry collection, but a journey. That journey being life through the eyes of the poet.
Poets are tasked with writing that which can’t be said any other way. Heather Grace Stewart does that exceedingly well in this collection of poems. She writes of an array of subjects with an understanding of them. In doing so, she shows us ourselves. That is a rare gift.
REVIEWS OF WHERE THE BUTTERFLIES GO
“A Beautiful Work”~ Jan. 13, 2013 by James Brush
I just finished reading Canadian poet Heather Grace Stewart’s collection Where the Butterflies Go. The book is divided into three sections: Pain, Growth and Family and it was the last that resonated most with me. Equal parts meditation, celebration and reflection on family life, marriage and parenting, the poems here are full of keen observation of relationships and the small details that make each family unique and special to its members. My world now is so full of learning this whole parenting business, I found myself frequently smiling and nodding along as I read. I especially enjoyed the way Stewart’s book moves between poems that recollect the transition from childhood to adulthood and others that celebrate childhood innocence through the eyes of a wise mother who knows that innocence is fleeting. Beautiful work.
Heather Grace Stewart manages to narrate life in a familiar way that leaves you agreeing out loud, as if she read our thoughts and put them to paper. This collection visits themes concerning simple daily life routines to the horrors and heartbreak of war and terrorism. Heather is the voice for every woman and leads you through thoughts we have all shared. Where the Butterflies Go is both intimately tender and tragically sad. A beautiful blend of poetry, narrative and insight. Highly recommend.
“Her ability to engage her reader, to use her words to make them really feel, is a strength that shines throughout the collection.”
Poet Natasha Head, February 10, 2012, THE RIVER REVIEW
Ms. Stewart offers her readers a collection of accessible, emotionally engaging poetry. She covers pain, social issues and family in a manner that is both accessible and eloquent, presenting her poems with simplicity. Her treament of social issues is subtle, compelling and non-divisive, which is refreshing in this age of political extremism. The section on family covers both the difficulties and delights of marriage and parenting and could be used as a primer for young couples. I recommend her work to those who have an aversion or fear of poetry because of its clarity and emotional balance. I read it on my Kindle and had no problem with formatting which is, at times, an issue for poetry. If my review seems too superlative, well, it deserves it.
‘A willful and successful destruction of boundaries’ **** (4 stars)
by Shawn Halayka, Dec. 24, 2011 under Where the Butterflies Go in iBOOKS
Anima and animus. Love and sorrow. Past and present. An array of dualities are presented to us in these poems, accurately depicting both the beauty and horror of life at the same time in a masterful way that gives no ground to useless pretense or extraneous detail. Most importantly to me, these dualities are not presented as paradoxical or contradictory, but rather wholly integrated. The end result is quite illuminating.
What really hit home for me were the poems about Challenger/Columbia and the tragedy of Di. These specific poems are deceptively short — it may have only taken a few minutes to read them, but then it took me much longer to process the resulting flood of memories related to my own childhood and young adulthood. These poems are like a key, and one’s own life is the vault.
I can only assume that some sort of fancy voodoo magic was implemented by the author, because I am fully enchanted by these poems. Superb work, as usual.
There is s sense of earnestness that pervades this collection. Couple that with honesty, add a touch of humor blended with whimsy and a heart on the sleeve, and you get a good picture of the earlier poetry of Canadian Poet, Heather Grace Stewart.
Topics range from the personal, to the world around all of us, world events to doings in her back yard, Stewart’s simple, yet elegant poetry breathes humanity into the everyday. The love poems are realistic and don’t drip with perfection or idealised bliss. The lack of perfection displayed in the people around her adds to their perfection for her, and she expresses this stunningly well. The poems about her child and her role as a mother are honest, tinged with awe and an eye for humor.
The words paint vivid pictures of a life well lived, lived in and enjoyed for what it is. They are deceptively simple, these words joined together in poetry. It’s that deception that makes these poems and this collection a joy to read. I recommended it quite highly. (4/5 stars) –Mark Stratton
REVIEW BY TOM PHILLIPS, UK POET
Arranged under three broad headings – `Pain’, `Growth’, `Family’ – Heather Grace Stewart’s Where The Butterflies Go gets at the nub of what it means to try and live in a world which appears to be passing by at an ever more astonishing speed and where what’s pumped out through TV and computer screens seems startlingly at odds with both the realities of ordinary, day-to-day existence and our more humane impulses and aspirations. It is a book of illusion, disillusion and, as it were, re-illusion, an acknowledgement of loss and the discovery of fragile compensations. The great risk for poetry like this, of course, is that it can come across as rather naïve, the losses too easily overcome, the compensations too easily found. That’s certainly not the case here. Thanks to an exhilarating directness and a worked-for simplicity of language, not to mention a nicely self-deprecating sense of humour on occasion, this is a book full of sharply drawn images, honest poignancy and frank admissions.
Take `Golden Dreams’, with its refrain of `Durango gold, Durango gold’ alluding to the Colorado gold rush and, by implication, the consumerist dream. Here, on a home-improvements shopping trip, Grace Stewart is overwhelmed by a different sort of `rush’, one of harsher realities: “We choose ceramic tiles/content,/while war rages/over the ocean,” she writes, with a telling nod at childhood song (“My bonny lies over the ocean”, too), before admitting, with an almost brutal honesty: “We care, but still go about our lives.” Only, of course, she’s not letting herself off that lightly – there’s homelessness, a government dedicated to preserving the status quo… By the end all that’s left, it seems, are “dark clouds/across this Canadian sky”.
The causes of such disillusion seem legion. There are poems here about the 1989 Montreal massacre (when fourteen women were gunned down at the Ecole Polytechnique), child-soldiers in Sierra Leone, disenfranchised women in Iraq, 9/11, beggars, poverty, domestic violence, divorcing couples, and a child mown down by a speeding driver. In the `Pain’ section of the book in particular, it seems a bleak, broken and violent world where the only option appears to be to “forget about/the fragile parts/and go on surviving”.
Grace Stewart, though, doesn’t forget those “fragile parts” – love, empathy, hope – and refinding them occupies the remainder of the book. In many ways, this is about celebrating simple, mostly domestic pleasures – the sight of bulbs in the garden coming into flower, the “butterfly kisses” of an unborn child in the womb, that child’s first steps, an embrace, “the shelter of my lover’s arms”, “the melting days” at the end of winter – but always with a persistent sense of their fragility and a refreshing down-to-earthness which locates these moments in the context of dirty washing, internet pop-ups, torn umbrellas and other irritations which “just won’t matter/100 years from now”.
In `My love picks me plums’, for instance, she accepts “bushels and bushels of dark juicy fruit” from her husband on her first anniversary, only to remember to “file this moment away in my mind/for some day when, in heated argument/I wish to throw plums at him”, while in `Forecast’, the hope she finds “hanging in the air” after a storm is simultaneously “just within my reach;/just outside our window”. Such ambiguity gives these poems their strength because ultimately these are restorative acts, finding and preserving moments of tantalising hope, sifting what really matters from what doesn’t and holding on. (5/5 stars) (Tom Phillips)
Heather Grace Stewart has written a collection of poems that contain a great deal of humanity and compassion for the world around her. Her poems at times can feel like she wrote them especially for you. In the Early Morning Hush summed up my own relationship with my own wife I couldn’t get over it. She was quite ill at the time I read it and has since left us. Heather’s words contain a great deal of healing power for me and I will be forever grateful for that. (5/5 stars)
REVIEWS OF THE GROOVY GRANNY
A Collection of Poems for Young and Young at Heart
5 stars by Jamie Dedes November 5, 2011
KAYLA MAE STEWART AT FIVE YEARS
The artist preparing the illustration for her mom’s poem On Bad Days
ON BAD DAYS Illustration
But, the talk of the town?
That’s certainly me
I can make a snow fort and
a good cup of tea!
From Gadget Snow Pants a poem by Heather Grace Stewart in The Groovy Granny
Dust bunnies and dress-up and adults who are sillier than their kids and have more energy too: that’s what you’ll find in Heather Grace Stewart’s new and colorful collection of poems for big kids and their little ones, The Groovy Granny, a mother-daughter collaboration. Heather wrote the poems and Kayla did the illustrations.
The Groovy Granny is a collection of sixteen poems. I particularly liked Adults Are Funny. I remember a time when my son was a toddler and he told our neighbor, Gussy, that he had to wear his sweater because “Mama’s cold.”
ADULTS ARE FUNNY
Healther Grace Stewart, all rights reserved
Adults are funny,
don’t you thinK?
When they’re thirsty
they get you a drink.
When they’re cold
they get you a sweater.
When meeting a stranger
they’ll talk about weather.
When they’re tired
“Get your sleep!”
Have you noticed the strange things
What odd expressions!
Instead of: “We’ll see.”
It’s: “Well cross that bridge
when we come to it.”
(SO confusing to me!)
Adults and clothes?
They buy new stuff
then, the very next year,
it all goes out of fashion.
I’m glad I’m a kid.
Adults are funny.
I just want to be one
so I can make money!
HEATHER GRACE STEWART, Canadian Poet
Heather blogs at Where the Butterflies Go
All poetry, art work, and photographs are the exclusive copyrighted property of Heather Grace Stewart, posted here with permission.
Many poet-bloggers already know Heather from Morning’s (formerly Jingle) fun poet-blogger community activities, Thursday Poet’s Rally and The Gooseberry Garden Picnic (formerly Poetry Potluck). I haven’t had time recently to join the fun. I don’t think Heather has either, but if you are a poet-blogger and you have time, you might enjoy getting involved.
‘Funny and thought-provoking poems; kids absolutely love the colourful artwork’
Heather Grace Stewart and the “Groovy Granny” visited my Grade 1 class! What a treat for my students. Heather had selected only a few poems to read but they wanted more – I’m afraid that she had to do more than one encore! The funny and thought provoking poems stimulated their imaginations and they absolutely loved the colourful artwork that accompanied each poem. “Gadget Snow Pants” lent itself to a fabulously fun art activity where the children painted and decorated snow pants with their own gadgets. Thank you Heather for coming and brightening up our day!
Grade 1 Teacher
at 5:32pm Oct 30 2011
‘A Must Have.‘
“Groovy Granny” is a MUST HAVE for your family’s bookshelf! Mom Heather writes the catchy brilliant verses while daughter Kayla cements each delightful poem with her colorful & clever drawings-destined to be a family heirloom. I bought TWO!
posted by Silvercrone at 12:14pm May 17 2011
‘The opening poem is pure genius.’
This book is a delight. Heather brings a quirkiness to this book which has echos of Dr Suess but the humour is pure Heather. Kayla’s illustrations show a remarkable grasp on the world around her. The opening poem, “Gadget Snow Pants”, is pure genius. The young ones will love it. Us big kids will feel like kids again.
posted by L Leitner at
at 11:14am May 12 2011