Music is the driving force in my poetry. It dictates how characters, themes, voice, and other important aspects of the craft are developed. There are so many ways in which music can play a part, and each poem has a different balance of weights as the ones before. The beauty and joy in my writing is finding that balance. I am inspired by both classical and modern poets who value music as much as I do.
Much of my poetry centers around understanding the human condition. I enjoy internal dialogues between aspects of a single character as well as open dialogues in pursuit of stronger relationships and clearer understandings at a universal level.
Joshua Gray was born in the mountains of rural Northern Virginia, outside Washington DC. He grew up in Alexandria VA, two miles from the nation’s capital and spent most of his adult life in the suburbs of the city. But he never lost his love for the mountains: he attended Warren Wilson College in the mountains of western North Carolina, and lived in the Western Ghats mountains in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India from 2012-2014. He now lives in eastern Kentucky with his wife and two sons.
He has been published in many journals, including Poets and Artists, Mipoesias, Blind Man’s Rainbow, Front Range Review, Iconoclast, Zouch Magazine and many others. His poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and featured on Verse Daily’s Web Weekly section. For two years he was the DC Poetry Examiner for Examiner.com where he wrote reviews of poetry collections by local poets as well as articles on the local poetry scene. He is active on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and many other social media sites.
His first book Beowulf: A Verse adaptation With Young Readers In Mind was written for his oldest son when he was six, but as the title implies, it can be enjoyed by an older audience, including adults. His book-length poem Principles of Belonging is based on true stories about his parents and parents-in-law, and is written using many different poetry forms, including some modernized ancient forms. His chapbook Mera Bharat is a collection of poems based on his experiences in India, and was published in 2014. In 2015 he published Steel Cut Oats, a collection of poems that honor the traditions of food from a cultural standpoint, rejecting the modern processed and unhealthy food industry. In 2016 he published Symposium, a collection of poems he “had” to write about his fight with Melanoma.