Sarah Grimes and Positive Poetry

Words by Danielle Irene

Published Dec. 17, 2018

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“My name is Sarah, and I’m from a very small town in the north of Ireland. Think less than 1000 people.”

 

This is how Sarah Grimes introduced herself. Grimes is a young adult poet who pulls from what she knows and what she sees, and then translates it for new audiences.

 

“I live specifically in Northern Ireland, a country plagued by civil war from the late 1960s, to the year I was born, 1998,” explained Grimes. “Even now, Northern Ireland is a very black and white country, and not a particularly safe one.”

 

Growing up in this type of conflicting social climate has shaped Grimes’ outlook on people and relationships, which bleeds into her poetry. “Most people are either on one side or the other, depending on which faith they were baptized into,” Grimes said.

 

But not all of Grimes’ poems revolve around the negative facets of where she lives; in fact, Grimes writes a lot of poetry dealing with the positive relationships of life.

 

“[N]ot everything is violent and passionate,” she said. “Most of the soft moments in my
poems are inspired by interactions between my friends, my family, and my boyfriend.”

 

As a person who is “visual by association,” it’s no wonder that color is also an influence for Grimes. “[A]nyone who knows me finds that quite surprising, as I tend to almost exclusively wear black,” she laughed.

 

Her use of visuality gives the reader a clear, saturated picture to view in their head. When you’re reading Grimes’ poetry, it almost feels like the words are jumping of the page at you.
 

While Grimes’ poetry may initially appear to bounce between two extremes—soft or brash, happy or sad, violent or nonviolent, romantic or realist—interwoven into every line of her work is a bold, bright, and underlying complexity that is the staple of Grimes’ poetry.

 

“[K]eep writing,” Grimes urged, “even if you think it’s awful, and to share it on whatever platform you like, because the more feedback you get, the better you will be.”

 

Stay up to date with Sarah on her Tumblr.

See the rest of the articles from issue four here.

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