What is your first memory of writing for fun?
My first memory of writing for fun actually started with a school assignment. In 4th grade, we were tasked with creating our own folk tales. We only needed to write one, but I continued to write and write them at home. I was obsessed with creating my own world and being in control. For poetry, however, writing for fun started in middle school when I was getting bullied.
How many drafts = done?
Sometimes one, sometimes five, sometimes fifty-seven. My heart has to be finished with a piece before I consider it finished, which never really happens. I mean, it’s come close, but sometimes I re-reed work months or years later and change some things around.
What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?
That’s so hard. My favorite book that I’m currently reading is The Cruel Country by Judith Ortiz Cofer. I’ve been reading it over and over to help with my grief, but it is written so beautifully. Another favorite of mine, both to read and to teach is House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. The voice really speaks to me. Both authors were introduced to me during undergrad, and I cannot get enough of them.
What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?
When my work resonates with others, when it helps them without me even trying. I also like playing with language and sound. Poetry, and writing in general, are such amazing worlds to be in. You create your safe space. You create your rights and wrongs instead of being dictated to. Something else that I appreciate about writing is the fact that my voice can change people. Doesn’t happen often, but the possibility is there.
What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?
My favorite word is truth; it feels good leaving my lips, but also because truth is relative. No two truths are always exactly the same. It’s a simple word, but one with a deep meaning. I also like the word moue. It was one of the words I found in a thesaurus when I was writing my first novel.
Bonus question: if you were a month, which month would you be and why?
I would be April. Not only am I an April baby, but there is both a sadness and a joy in April, and I feel like that encompasses who I am. I have great days and some not so great days, but in the end, I have grown for it.
Come out and see Ashley read on Tuesday, March 12th – here’s the facebook event!
Ashley Elizabeth is a 20-something year old poet from Baltimore who draws inspiration from her city, her people, her space, and her body. She has been featured in online journals such as Rose Water, Passages North, yell/shout/scream, and For the Sonorous among others. Ashley is also Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications. She habitually posts on twitter @ae_thepoet