Celebrate Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas’ Latest Book With Us: ‘A Shared and Sacred Space’


Happy Wednesday, readers, writers, and shark fans! We’re always so excited to see members of our Lit Shark community succeed, especially when they have a book come out, so we could not be more pleased to share the news that Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas has just published her latest poetry collection, A Shared & Sacred Space, with Kelsay Books.

If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ll know that Carol Lynn has appeared in several issues of Lit Shark Magazine, as well as our Best Of 2023 Anthology. Her poems, “Gamble at the Ramble” and “Even So,” first appeared in Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine and now appear in the “Sacred” second section of the book. We could not be more excited for her!

The collection offers a gorgeous representation of love, motherhood, identity, family heirlooms, and traditions, while also taking an unflinching look at lost love, grief, and the concepts of life and death. We were especially taken by the collection’s message that nothing is permanent—only the memory of what once was, and the haunt of what is no longer.

The poems in this collection are beautifully written, as per tradition to Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas’ poetry, and it’s a lovely medley of traditional sonnets with free verse. We hope you will check it out, and we thank you in advance for supporting a member of our community!




A Shared and Sacred Space by Carol Lynn Stevenson GrellasRead A Shared & Sacred Space Today

A Shared & Sacred Space

Written By Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Kelsay Books (June 7, 2024)

114 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1639805327




Half-wedged between the window’s frame and glass
I plucked a moth, one wing between my nails
and held it so as not to harm its scales
then felt its willful flapping while I passed
through rooms that led me to an outside door
not understanding why I felt the need
to save a thing whose larvae loves to feed
on garments stored, devourer of wool
assuming its identity was pest
opposed to those that feast on flowered plants
yet pausing in that moment’s circumstance
and impulse giving way to thought—a test?
As if I’d feel a sense of unity
to coexist. And so, I set it free.




Two Recognizable Names

Needless to say, I’m excited to be among those welcoming this poetry collection to the world, but also—I’m honored! Carol Lynn reached out to me months ago with the news that A Shared & Sacred Space was being published by Kelsay Books, and she asked me if I was interested in writing a blurb for the cover. That was an IMMEDIATE yes for me. I love Carol Lynn’s work and was excited to get an early glimpse into the latest world of her poetry—in this case, shared and sacred spaces, in sonnets and free-verse.

My blurb on the back cover of the book. Here’s what I had to say about the collection:

“I’ve long been haunted by the dualities of Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas’ poetry: life and death, forgetting and the preservation of memory, resisting death while recognizing its beauty… Implied by the title, these poems are divided into the “shared” and the “sacred,” two large and meaningful parts to the collection. The “shared” poems are written mostly in sonnet form, as if Grellas’ poems are also sharing a form with late traditional poets, and they focus on family stories and heirlooms, implying the shared aspects of family, meaningful relationships and friendships, and of course, art. The second section, the “sacred,” focuses more on personal stories and the more personal takeaways from shared experiences, like how one perceives the family dynamic compared to another. This duality of the public and private proves to be haunting, especially in the poems that celebrate secrecy and memories never shared (until with us, the readers).

“What I’ve discovered after reading A Shared and Sacred Space is how each poem carries with it its own unique duality: its personal and collective power. I read some of these poems on an individual basis and loved them as they stood on their own, but now that I’ve read them as a part of a larger collection, I now better appreciate the larger resonance of these poems and the echoes they form across the collection. From love, motherhood, family heirlooms, and traditions, to religion, ailments, and the forever haunting loss of our furry loved ones, this “labyrinth of humanness unveiled” is a stunning collection of personal, shared, and confessional poetry that we surely all can relate to, and celebrate.

“Grellas lets us take a glimpse into the most treasured and personal aspects of her life, and like an ofrenda, a photo album, a guest list—by the end of the collection, all of us readers are those who have signed the guest book, leaving behind our own small contributions to poetry’s collective memory and taking something of Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas’ with us.”

—McKenzie Lynn Tozan, Lit Shark Magazine

A Shared And Sacred Space by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas FULL COVER


Read a Poem from A Shared and Sacred Space (originally from Lit Shark Magazine!)

As a little throwback, we wanted to share one of Carol Lynn’s poems from A Shared and Sacred Space which first appeared in Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine. This was one of our favorite poems from the collection, so here is how it appeared in Lit Shark’s Best Of 2023 Anthology, one of the best 50 selected from Lit Shark Magazine’s first year of publications.

Poem "Gamble at the Ramble" by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas



Carol Lynn Stevenson GrellasCAROL LYNN STEVENSON GRELLAS lives in the Sierra Foothills (CA) and is a recent graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program, where she received a Merit Scholarship. She is a twelve-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem A Mall in California took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Awards and Epitaph for the Beloved was nominated for The Northern California Book Award. Her latest collection of poems Alice in Ruby Slippers, was short-listed for the 2021 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize and awarded honorable mention in the Poetry category and has been featured in Sundress Publications, The Wardrobes Best Dressed. Her work can be found online and in print and has recently appeared in Mezzo Cammin and Verse Daily. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Orchards Poetry Journal and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Poetry Center. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Women’s Wisdom Art, an organization in Sacramento that supports women’s wellness through creativity in all forms. Her work has been included in the Saratoga Authors Hall of Fame and according to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

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Written By McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan (she/her/hers) lives and writes in Europe with her family (originally from the Midwest). In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of Lit Shark Magazine and the Banned Book Review, she is a novelist, poet, and book reviewer. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University and her BA in English/BS in Education from Indiana University South Bend, where she began her work in publishing. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, Young Ravens Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Encore Magazine, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Life Collective, Her Journal, Motherly, and more. When not writing, she enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and spending time with her husband and three children.




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