About Allyson Shaw

Black and white photograph of a woman holding a sheep skull taken with an antique camera.
Portrait by Gordon Fraser taken with an antique collodion camera.

I am a writer living on the northeast coast of Scotland and the folklore and history of this place deeply influences my work.  I spent the last four years researching the monuments to accused witches across Scotland and the women’s lives they mark. This has culminated in a work of narrative nonfiction and nature writing, Ashes and Stones: one woman’s search for witches & witness due out next year.

I was born in the United States and have lived in the UK for almost two decades. Extensive travel and my dual nationality inform my work. My writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and my poems have been selected for awards by Pulitzer Prize winners John Ashbery and Charles Simic. Much of my work has appeared in anthologies and literary journals, and continues to find home in publications due out in the near future.

I am represented by Kevin Pocklington at The North Literary Agency.

Praise for my poetry:

“Here Narrative–if elsewhere in disgrace,
dares lift her skirts–she’s armed with talons–
and show her face.
What’s this she hurls with both her fists?
Bonbons from the burning moon
to poison our parents–
not a moment too soon.”
–Rikki Ducornet

“Allyson Shaw’s poetry wrestles fearlessly with strong angels, and invokes the aid of some great provocateurs – William Blake and Sylvia Plath among them. The drama is terrific here: Shaw has a righteous quarrel with the order of things, and at the same time her language displays a tender, eloquent love of this world. Passion and pattern strike a rare accord in these poems.”
– Judith Grossman, author of How Aliens Think

“Allyson Shaw renders female experience with the dark wit of Anne Sexton– mixed with the sensual surprise and elegiac glee of Emily Dickinson.” — Jill Hoffman, author of Mink Coat.

Find me on Patreon.

You can find my Goodreads author profile here.

2 thoughts on “About Allyson Shaw

  1. Dear Allyson, I am currently signed up for Alice and Claire’s online tarot course, Toil and Trouble, so that’s how I got to see the ‘Rites for Writing’ information, and lo and behold, it was already sold out. I’m not at all surprised. But if you have a list of people waiting to see if you have any cancellations, please may I join it? Are you planning to provide any other classes?
    I’m currently plotting a novel based around medicine, early printing, tarot, witchcraft and generally seeking one’s path, set in early 16thC England and the Netherlands, and I crave beautiful writing from other pens as input for my inspiration and guidance.


    1. Hello Maggie–thank you for getting in touch. Cailleach Herbarium and the Taibshear Collective are organising the Rot and Rising workshops– it would be best to get in touch with them to be added to a waiting list. Your novel sounds fascinating and just the kind of thing I like to read. I will be teaching other workshops in the future. I will announce them via email and you can sign up for my email newsletter here http://eepurl.com/hpTa8v


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s