A Deep Dive into Memoir Poems

Memoir In Verse Andrya Allen Lightwork Compressed

The Power of Memoir-in-Verse

Memoir in verse is a magical, lyrical style that brings personal narrative alive. It gives voice to life's emotions, experiences, and events, painting a vivid picture that the heart and mind can relate to.

I began a memoir-in-verse or memoir poem on accident, which I believe may happen to many authors.

I wanted to reflect on my life in a way that felt accurate. Full sentences and explanations did not fit my experience. I started with poems because they help me get the closest to my inner feelings. I am able to explore my inner landscape and how I interact with the world through poetry.

If I think back to my earliest memory of feeling like a memoirist, it was in a first or second grade glass on English. The activity was to write about a place in your home as descriptive as possible. That made me uncomfortable, because I did not have a home to write about. The teacher in her infinite knowledge offered a second option to the class. You could choose an imagined place, or even add imagination to your real experience. I had never been given permission to share the magical details I saw in the world around me. I wrote about the kitchen of a woman who took care of me like a second mother. Her kitchen was full of love and the sun. Times like this transformed my experience and let me reflect the world I saw in a meaningful way. 

Decades later as a young adult, I remember being in therapy while healing from cancer. Healing from cancer is a physical hill and an emotional mountain. My therapist recommended I journal to find my truth. My journal was my safe space. I would write words with no context, phrases that came into my mind and poems that wrote to the bone. I did this for six years. I went to a poetry night in town at the end of the six years. I heard a poet read from his poetry book and thought, "Wow. I have enough for a book."

From there, I went back to my journals to find and pull out work I wanted to feature. This process took several months and with the help of an incredible editor, my story in verse was bound into the book: LIGHTWORK.  

Embarking on the Memoir Poem Journey

Each writer has their own way, and I've been blessed to learn from so many. I watched every single Masterclass on writing from Amy Tan to Stephen King. I joined writing circles, held my own writing circles for years, and did a year of writing together with Somatic Writing.

My debut poetry book came out of that journey. For me, LIGHTWORK is a testament to the transformative power of memoir poetry. Already recognized on Amazon's best-seller list for poetry and inspirational collections, LIGHTWORK resonates with readers by offering a deeply personal journey. From family dynamics to tiny short poem thoughts, LIGHTWORK is a one-day-reader for many. You'll find mystery and stillness, sadness and joy next to each other. 

Poems Echo Life's Emotions

In LIGHTWORK, each poem mirrors life's raw emotions and experiences. The poem "Lovely" captures the intimacy of a moment: "How lovely to choose the human that warms your nose when the blue light slips in on a cold winter morn." It's this kind of heartfelt writing that earned reader praise of "genuine" and "compelling." 

Many of the poems linger on topics that my mind cannot let go of, like "The Man." Open to interpretation by the reader, the poem calls into question reflections on the past and unanswered questions. 


Readers describe LIGHTWORK as a journey that touches the heart and soul. One reader shared, "This was truly a beautiful collection of poems. I read the entire book in one sitting and was struck with emotion from one poem to the next."  Readers find themselves embarking on an emotional trip with LIGHTWORK. They've discovered hidden truths and found strength in the verses. As one reader describes, "It was quite an emotional trip that pulled out some things I'd been hiding from myself."


Unraveling the Magic of Memoir in Verse

LIGHTORK offers you the chance to experience the magic of memoir in verse. It's a journey that comes alive through Allen's vivid and heartfelt poetry. LIGHTWORK is more than just a book. It's a journey through life's peaks and valleys. It's an invitation to reflect, to find inspiration and to empower yourself through its verses.


After LIGHTWORK released in 2020, I began an illustrated collection of poems. Most of these you will find in LIGHTWORK. My personal favorite that I come back to often is "Praise to All Waking Grievers II." This poem is inspired by my favorite poet and spiritualist, Rumi. A Christian mystic and poet, Rumi's words are a meditation and prayer on the beauty of the human spirit. 


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