Maybe It Will Rain: Carleton's Victoria Gravesande Releases A Chapbook

Victoria Gravesande, a 20- year-old journalism student at Carleton, published a chapter book of poetry in early November titled Maybe it will Rain.

Her journey with poetry started in fifth grade when she started stringing words and rhymes together in love poems. In high-school when she was introduced to new inspirations she realized her poetry could be more about more than love. It could be about her life experiences, it could be about anything.

Then on, she said turning her words into poems has helped her recover from the emotions she builds up.

She wrote to express her emotions but never expected she would meet an editor of In/Words, a literacy magazine, in one of her second- year classes and soon be published.

By March she performed at Verse Fest, Ottawa’s International Poetry Festival and by the time summer came around, In/Words offered her a chapbook.

“I wasn’t sure if I was ready to have a whole collection of my published work. It was nerve-wracking. I didn’t know if I had 30 pages of good work to publish," said Gravesande. 

Although the editing process was harder than she expected, including making changes up to a week before it published, she said she learned a lot.

“Getting a second opinion on your writing is always a good idea because what makes sense to you doesn’t always make sense to everyone else,” she said. “If you want to be a published writer you need to swallow your pride and realize no one is going to understand your thoughts completely raw, so you have to edit them.”

Gravesande said her poems gradually get darker, but as you near the end you’ll read poems with lighter tones.

“A lot of my poems in my chapbook are dark, even the ones that are happier. Like the ones I write about being in love still have dark edges and connotations,” she said. “I talk about self-harm and depression even in the ones I think are lovelier.”

She talks about her poems as if someone else wrote them but her work is very personal.

“For the sake of sharing a lot of these experiences with my family I really want them to believe that parts of it are fictional . . . It's easier for me to talk about my work if I treat it as fictional, but obviously a lot of it is based on personal experiences,” she said. "A lot of these things are written when I’m really depressed, or I’m anxious, or when I’m really angry so it’s 100 percent me. I’m never imagining anyone else but for the sake of talking about it, it’s the character or the narrator.”

Gravesande’s emotions are powerful in her poem The Rain, which she titled her chapbook after.

“I’ve already gone through the worst things I could possibly go through, so anything else that happens to me is just rain,” she said, explaining the last stanza of the poem.

I have already

Weathered the storm.

Surely,

I can handle

A bit of rain.

Look for Victoria Gravesande’s chapbook Maybe it Will Rain coming soon online at In/Words Magazine.