VIDEO: Salvation


trigger warning: graphic description of suicide

On September 24th 2014, my best friend contacted me, desperately seeking reasons to stay alive. I asked him if he could hang on until the next time I saw him, and he told me, “I don’t think I can even hang on until midnight.” The next day, I got the news. 

Writing has always been my sanctuary, my escape. But after my best friend’s suicide, I could barely make pen touch paper. I feared that writing a poem about him would be too final, and I wasn’t ready for closure yet. But somehow, I eventually allowed myself to turn my best friend’s legacy into this poem. 

I chose not to give this poem a happy ending, because the reality of suicide is that there is no happy ending. Not for the person who takes their own life, nor for the people they leave behind to pick up the fragments. Suicide devastates everyone involved. But this is precisely why we need to talk about it. I want everyone who watches this video to understand the horrific pain of grieving a loved one; I want everyone to know that there are thousands of people who carry this same pain everyday; and I want that to inspire us all to come together and create a world where fewer and fewer people have to feel this way. We need to live such that everyone who meets us walks away feeling uplifted. 

If you need it, here’s a list of international suicide hotlines. If you don’t need it, pass it around anyway. And remember: my heart is with you, always.


WordFlow: A Spoken Word-Dance Collaboration

WordFlow: A Spoken Word-Dance Collaboration

During our live WordFlow slams, dancer and poet meet for the very first time when they walk onto the RoCM Dance stage. Audience members are privy to the exact moment that the collaborative piece is created and watch as artistic forms merge. Following our programmed WordFlow pieces, there will be an open mic for any audience members with a poem or dance piece they would like to share.

Jan 23rd 2015, 6.30-8.30pm
35 W. 67th Street New York, NY 10023
$10 in advance, $12 door


earth words.

I will be making my international debut on New Year's Day:

earth words.
a night of poetry about life, loss and healing
with award-winning writer alicen grey

Jan 1st 2015 | 7.30pm | Paradigm Shift - Bangalore India
80 Feet Main Road, AVS Layout, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560095, India

vegan cookies + lemon tea will be served
and I will be signing copies of my book, Wolves and Other Nightmares


A Letter to my Audience

Hey, lovelings. 
Not sure how to start this, but here goes:

I've had quite a year. Some moments were luscious, some were devastating. I have won. But I have also lost. And I have known such darkness.

As you might know by now, my best friend took his life on September 24th 2014. Before this, I'd never lost a loved one. I didn’t know how to handle my grief. So I thought I was doing the right thing by continuing to work on my writing, posting things every week and meeting deadlines. Many of us, as artists, have bought into the lie that we can “art” our pain away. Sad? Write a poem! Angry? Dance! Heartbroken? Sing your heart out! Make pretty things so you don’t have to see the ugliness of your pain! Avoid, ignore, deny!

But I have tried all of that, and I am still hurting.
Now I understand that I was not being fair to myself. I was only pretending I could handle everything on my own, so I would not have to face the excruciating pain of his absence.

As a result, my work has suffered. I used to take the greatest joy in posting a new creative piece on my blog every Friday. Sometimes I would begin a piece weeks in advance, wanting it to be at its absolute best before posting it.
Now, I find myself posting things out of obligation. I find myself writing less about things that are inspiring to me – feminism, activism, recovery -- and more about things that plague me. Depression. Trauma. His suicide. Hopelessness about the state of the world…
There were so many projects I started this year, that I dropped because there was not enough room in my heart anymore for novels or performances or poetry. Only room for what-ifs and I-miss-yous and brokenness.

I always tell my audience: prioritize healing. Self-love, self-devotion, self-care. I always tell other artists, be 100% open and vulnerable to your audience. Share every last ounce of your pain. Hold nothing back. Today, I am the one who needs to take my own advice. So here I am, doing just that.

Am I giving up on writing? Absolutely not. But there will be changes.
I have decided to take the winter off. I’ll be going to India to study, and I want to be fully present for the experience. Not worrying about deadlines or marketing strategies or book sales. Just, time to rest. I want to be with myself at this time. I need myself now more than ever. you understand. We have all been there.

When I come home from India, I will not post poems according to a schedule. I will post them as they come. I will be open with you when I can; but I will not force it. no more being cruel to myself. From now on: love love love love love. Words and love.

Thank you. For understanding. For walking this path with me. For holding my hand. For witnessing the changes that are taking place with eyes of compassion.

As my best friend used to say: Excelsior. Ever upward we go. 

-Alicen Grey

(P.S. if you or someone you know is suicidal, please call a suicide hotline, and remember that I love you.)


I don't know how to stop being hungry.

[trigger warning: eating disorders, relapse]

sinks into
gaps between
make the kind of
noise i like to
echoes of
the voice I used to
you ever wondered
how to shed your