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Grey Held

Grey Held was born in Richmond, Virginia. He left there to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a BS in Architecture and Design, then to Philadelphia for an MFA at the Tyler School of Art (Temple University). After a brief stint teaching art at Ohio State University, he settled with his costume-designer wife just outside of Boston, raised two incredible boys (now men), and spent many years in the corporate world, managing and mentoring teams and coordinating projects. Grey is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, and the 2019 Future Cycle Poetry Book Prize Winner.  Three books of his poetry have been published, Two-Star General (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2012), Spilled Milk (Word Press, 2013), and WORKaDAY (FutureCycle Press, 2019).  Grey is also a literary activist, who has received four Massachusetts Cultural Council LCC grants for public projects that connect contemporary poets with wider audiences. His most recent project is MakePoetryConcrete, which has resulted in dozens of poems being stamped into the concrete of newly constructed sidewalks throughout the village centers in Newton, MA. Grey now teaches a weekly Zoom-based poetry workshop (PoetryRoundTable).;

                       Boy Without Shovel

     Here, by the ocean’s easeful azure, 
     not far from where his parents

     parked their chairs, plunked the cooler--
     a boy kneels to dig into sand.
     He finds to his surprise--water.

     Perhaps he thinks it's a hidden
     spring, his personal spring.

     His little hands keep delving down.
     The valley dug keeps caving in.
     Some physical principle he doesn't

     know yet sets the shallow limits
     of this alluvium soup. Still he persists.

     The caving-in persists to fill him
     with frustration.  And the sun
     looks down to see how deep he's

     going.  And the earth looks up
     to make sure he's learning something.
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