Alison Stone, Poet


* Ordinary Magic (NYQ Books, 2016)

* Dangerous Enough (Presa Press, 2014)

* Borrowed Logic (chapbook from Dancing Girl Press, 2014)

* From the Fool to the World (Parallel Press, 2012)

* They Sing at Midnight  (Many Mountains Moving Press, 2003)



Ordinary Magic

NYQ Books, 2016


Award-wining poet Alison Stone draws from her tarot in the latest collection. These 78 poems range from the archetypal (The Fool, The Magician, etc.) to the everyday situations of love, work, ideas, and conflicts that make up our lives. Mythical figures from past and present appear—Prometheus and Persephone represent court cards, as do Lou Reed and Steve Jobs. By turns witty and heartbreaking, this book goes down easily enough to be devoured in one sitting yet reveals greater depths with each subsequent reading. Stone’s accessible lyrics move and entertain us with the struggles and joys of what it means to be human.


Ordinary Magic”, Alison stone’s wonderfully titled book of Tarot-themed poetry, returns the deck to its creative roots, for the cards were used to inspire poetry long before they were drafted as a tool for fortune-telling. Her cards on the Major Arcana, the 22 trump cards, follow closely the themes and imagery of the well-known Rider deck, while zeroing in on original details that make these symbolic pictures both personal and fresh. But it's in the fifty-six suit cards, the so-called Minor Arcana, that Stone really shines. Largely abandoning the "official" imagery of the scenes (which are, in fact, only 100 years old), Stone allows the cards to suggest ideas, memories, and personal stories for poems that are immediate and alive."

—Rachel Pollock



                                                                                        Amazon – Persephone After


True, the first time I went willingly.  What girl                                                                    Mother hauled me home.

could  resist his leather pants                                                                                            A month in rehab, then a shopping spree

                                                                                                                                       for high-necked shirts and

and rock star swagger, switchblade                                                                                  frilly dresses.  Good girl life

in his pocket, my name                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                       to slip badk into like the cloak

quivering between his lips? How better                                                                             I dropped on my was down.

to escape Mom’s pretty vines                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                       I riggered by a song,

than to sway n a poured-on miniskirt                                                                                a whiff of sulfur—

across hell’ endless                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                       in any season, broken

dance floor while stretched skin                                                                                        ground inside me opens. Me3moryh

drums throbbed? My gut burned from pomegranate                                                         

                                                                                                                                       drags me back.

juice and vodka. The goth house band keened.                                                                 Put off my pink

Match light flickered on his skull ring                                                                               

                                                                                                                                       checks and filled-out limbs, the shades

as he whispered smoky promises and blackened                                                              won’t know me now.

bottoms of wet spoons. His touch                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                       I try to tell my mother what I saw there.

Wiped out every ache or question.                                                                                  How I lived. All that’s over. Let it go.

My straight-A vocabulary whittled down to more.                                                           

                                                                                                                                       My friends steer the conversation

Soon my dependence                                                                                                      back to fashion.

Angered him. He gestured                                                                                               


At my puffy eyes and flat hair.

Turned away with a slap.                                                                                                



Signed copies available. In the US, send a check made out to 'Stone' for $14.95 plus $1.75 postage & handling to:

      Stone, 114 School Street, Nyack, NY 10960

For international orders, send a check or money order from a bank with a US branch.  The postage & handling for Canada

& Mexico is $1.75, elsewhere $3.00.



Dangerous Enough

Presa Press 2014


Description: frontcoverfordangerousenough

“Stone is not a ‘literary’ poet (there are enough of them). Her text does not depend on other texts. She is interested in a woman’s truth, and has something hard won (but won) to give her readers. This is strong poetry.”         

Allen Grossman


Gorgeous work – not only accessible, but tight as can be.  I must say that Alison Stone’s book is the first one I've read cover to cover within the first day of reception.  Remarkable work"

David Cope


Stone understands that poems, as Robert Lowell encouraged, must be events in themselves and not merely records of events. Whether psychological or philosophical, or advancing the intensity of raw emotion, Stone’s poems are urgent and dramatic, put themselves and by extension the reader, at risk."

Thom Ward


“Stone offers lean and sparkling poetry that invites us to join with it - poems that are, in their way, multi-faceted spaces to explore, discovering what we may, and grafting what we bring.”

Verse Wisconsin




Text Box: Hunger


Text Box: They have to wait to bury my mother
until my daughter stops nursing.
She had slept in a padded basket

while I stood wooden between my husband and my father;
people droned my mother’s praises
and the coffin loomed.

Now she wakes and roots, all 
hunger. A stranger takes us 
to the rabbi’s study. Amid clutter 

of paper and books, I lift my black shirt.  Broken,
numb, I cannot imagine my body
will respond, but her latch draws milk down.

Text Box: She sucks dreamily. New to this world,
she knows nothing but a mother
who drips tears on her still-closing skull.

Her eyes flicker open and shut. Someone knocks, 
asks me to hurry. I rub my daughter’s back. 
Her eyes stay closed now 

but the fierce gums clamp. 
I wait. The knot in my throat starts to soften. 
As long as she holds on, nothing is 

final. The drive to the grave 
postponed, my mother is still above ground, here
with her new grandchild and me.


















Alison reading poems from Dangerous Enough on YouTube

Pedestal Magazine review of Dangerous Enough

Self-Interview about this book at the end of this web page.


Signed copies available. In the US, send a check made out to 'Stone' for $15.95 plus $1.75 postage & handling to:

      Stone, 114 School Street, Nyack, NY 10960

For international orders, send a check or money order from a bank with a US branch.  The postage & handling for Canada

& Mexico is $1.75, elsewhere $3.00.



They Sing at Midnight

Winner of the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award



Description: image001“If you're not careful, Alison Stone will devour you.


Although she announces in one poem that love is a room she enters 'sideways,' Stone's appetite for the physical and spiritual is never selective.  It hunts down all things, sacred and profane. The anaphoric poem "My Hunger" finishes 'Mangy and mateless, /my hunger gobbles chocolate, sunsets, 'children, prizes, flame. /my hunger is an animal without a proper name.' ....


The poems in Alison Stone's They Sing at Midnight risk many "nows." They image and idea, whisper and howl, implore and grieve.  Their versions of the mundane and the mystic engage us, offer shape and texture to the 'messy bright life we are born for.'  But her poems also deliver the hard fact that 'decay is in the air,' and, despite any hard-fought faith, we don't get out of here alive.  As such her poetics serve notice of the metaphysical amid the imminent, how Persephone is always and forever descending and returning, death into life, and life into death.  Such wisdom is Stone's gift to us.”

Thom Ward, from the forward


"Stone slips a carving knife under the skin of convention, eviscerating appearances, revealing the savage truth...Kill to get one."

Hugo Williams




Love is a room I enter sideways.

Roots of gut, branches of bone,

our bodies burn like trees.


Our faces have left us.

Whatever ties us to our name has vanished

in the owl’s beak.

Boneless, we are maggots feeding

underneath the rock of the dark.

Our mouth opens to coral and stars.




To order a signed copy of They Sing at Midnight

  In the US, send a check made out to 'Stone' for $12.95 plus $1.55 postage & handling to:

      Stone, 114 School Street, Nyack, NY 10960

  For international orders, send a check or money order from a bank with a US branch.  The postage & handling for Canada & Mexico is $1.75, elsewhere $3.00.





Borrowed Logic

Dancing Girl Press 2014



Borrowed logicPomegranate

Mother warned, Sex is a trap.
Still, every teenager wants more
than flowers, more than stale, virginal green.
His lips, cool moss against my nape.
I traded sunlight for a romp
in the forbidden, a devoted mate.
My meadow-scent’s exotic here, so he’s eager
to please, writes me poems by the meager
glow of dying fireflies. If he’d only kick that mange-
infested dog out of our bed.
Such horrid pant-

Ing! Each tongue licks my face like meat.

To order a signed copy of Borrowed Logic

  In the US, send a check made out to 'Stone' for $7.00 plus $1.55 postage & handling to:

      Stone, 114 School Street, Nyack, NY 10960

  For international orders, send a check or money order from a bank with a US branch.  The postage & handling for Canada & Mexico is $1.75,elsewhere $3.00.






From the Fool to the World

Parallel Press 2012



  The poems in this collection make up a series in the voices of the Major Arcana of the tarot. Stone’s poetry extends and complements her own work as a visual artist in creating the Stone Tarot. The poems are rich with visual language and are filled with stories of light, journeys, and transformation: If you won’t dance, / then who’s the fool? / Inside my cloth bag – apple, table, stallion, sky. / Come! The rich / cliff tempts like wine.”

—Tim McLafferty, Verse Wisconsin Online




XIV. Temperance


Of course moderation is a piece of cake          

for me; I am an angel.                                             

I have had eternity to master balance,               

and besides, it's easy to stay                             

calm in any storm                                                  

when a rainbow arcs perpetually                        

above my head like a giant umbrella.      

I understand you are only human.

Still, why let yourself be bumped from center

by recycled heart hungers or the lust beast.

Throw away your book of rules. Stop boring everyone

with resolutions.  Just plant

one foot on land, the other

in the cold school of the sea.



To order a signed copy of From the Fool to the World:

     In the US, send a check made out to ‘Stone’ for $10.00 plus $1.55 postage & handling to:

       Stone, 114 School Street, Nyack, NY 10960

    For international orders, send a check or money order from a bank with a US  branch.  The postage & handling for Canada & Mexico is $1.75, elsewhere $2.50


About the Poet


Description: Author 4Alison Stone’s poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Poetry International, Chelsea, Barrow Street, and a variety of other journals and anthologies.  She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award.


Ms. Stone is also a visual artist who spent nine years producing oil painting of the 78 images of the tarot.  The Stone Tarot is available in stores and on the internet. (  Ms. Stone has exhibited her paintings in a variety of galleries, museums, and other venues in London, MA, RI, and NY.


She is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City and Nyack, NY.







Self-Interview:  The Next Big Thing


What is the title of your book?  Dangerous Enough

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Among other issues, Dangerous Enough explores rites of passage -- adolescence, marriage, childbirth, the death of a parent.

What genre does the book fall under?  Poetry

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the book?  I worked on the poems in this collection over a period of about twenty years. Some of these are poems that, for whatever reason, were left out of They Sing at Midnight.

What surprised you about people's reactions to the book?   Everyone who tells me they have a favorite poem chooses a different one.

What else do you want to tell us about the writing of this book?   As I worked on the arc for this book I was surprised at how well they fit together, many having been written so many years apart. The body, and time, connect them so they flow.

Who published Dangerous Enough?  Presa Press.    I am delighted to be among their authors.


Kathi Aguero tagged me for this interview. Her wonderful collection After That was recently published by Tiger Bark Press.

I tagged Maxine Silverman, whose powerful chapbook The Transport of the Aim addresses the relationship

between Emily Dickinson and Celia Thaxter ( and Joseph Milford, whose Cracked Altimeter is a rich journey through language, ideas, and emotion.