Allison Hearn (1957 - )
Hearn has been an active member of the poetry scene in Northeast Kansas for
the last decade. She brings a traveler’s experience to her writing, as she
was born in Trinidad and is descended from Portuguese, Italian, African,
British, and Chinese families. Besides her original home in Trinidad, she
has lived in London, Paris, New York, Toronto, Princeton, and, since 1996,
Lawrence. Her formal training is in art and design.
written intermittently since she was a girl, she told a Lawrence Journal
World reporter (2002), and she relates to the Kansas landscape because
of its embodiment of time: "Kansas is the floor of an ancient sea." In her
writings, she lives amidst sea stones, family stories, and Victorian houses,
which she restores for a living. In “Yearly Restoration,” an Ad Astra Poetry
Contest winner, she delights in the names of commercial house paints:
“Morning Mist,” “Electric-Pink,” “Evocative Sunlight,” and
“”Frosted-Hawthorn.” These are her present-day layerings of experience over
an 1850s frame house. So she participates in history, as she heals damage to
“kicked-in doors.” This renewal becomes its own shade, “Good-As-New.” The
narrator suggests the “frat-boy parties” that recently ended and other
stories, but this is a lyrical poem about sealing in the present, as though
it could last through all years.
I bought a bucket of Morning-Mist
and painted the windows open.
Electric-Pink that splattered the floor
was patiently scraped with razor and rags
until the oak grain shone.
Evocative-Sunlight in multiple layers
hid the bruise marks on the walls.
Two emergency blankets of Ivory-Coast
tenderly covered, mended, kicked-in-doors.
Frosted-Hawthorn soothed in cross stitch brush strokes
graffiti etchings from drunken KU frat-boy parties.
The painted Victorian,
built by 1850s Lawrence-Kansas pioneers
stood, patiently, waiting for its wounds to heal.
Next morning I brought a gallon
and sealed the front porch done.
Allison Hearn was born and raised in Trinidad, where she graduated from high
school. She attended St Martin's School of Art, London.
Hearn has published poems in journals such as Coal City Review, I-70
and others. She published
(Mid-America Press 2002), a Kansas City Star Notable Book, and a second book
is ready for publication. She has worked as a writer, illustrator, and
fashion designer in Trinidad and London. She writes poetry and renovates
Victorian houses in Lawrence.
Low AAPP 38 ©2009 Serina Allison Hearn “Atlas of My Birth” ©2008 Denise Low,