Two Years Later (Growth)

To anyone who may be reading this,

It’s been two years since I’ve updated this section of my website. I am not exactly sure where to start. I feel grateful for the years that have passed. I moved to New York, and while I respect that city tremendously, my soul needs to be around large stretches of land in order to feel balanced. Nature soothes me, and so does warmth from the sun. I returned home to Florida about one year after I left, and I was fortunate enough to settle into a home that helped me heal and grow in ways I could have never imagined.

In New York, I landed in the arms of a kind, generous, and loving yoga studio, YOGAMAYA, where I studied and worked alongside some of the most gentle and intelligent humans I’ve ever met. After my time there was over, I came home knowing that I would teach yoga, and I did (and I still do sometimes), and it has been of the biggest gifts.

It’s 2016 now, and in June of 2014, For The Woman Alone was released with Ampersand Books. Bomb will come out with Ampersand this fall. And while these two books are connected, they are two very different books.  For The Woman Alone is a collection of memory, healing, and hope, and Bomb pushes through that last bit of transformation.

I could have never finished Bomb without my community in Orlando, Florida, for supporting me, connecting with me, and for giving me the treasure of friendship. I’m in California now, and I am feeling fortunate that I have the ability to explore such a different landscape: One of stacked land, dry air. The California desert is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had — from far away, it looks barren and empty. But up close, its animals, insects, and plants understand how to live in a healthy way. They find water; they roam. I’ve been spending a lot of time with them.

I hope that you can all find a sense of peace this week, a sense of solace. Whether you find this peace in a cityscape or among nature (or in the comfort of your own home), I hope you can join with it, ease into it — feel.

With all my love,

Ashley

 

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The Writing Process Blog Tour

 
 
 
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Thank you, Rose Tran, for nominating me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.
 
 
 
1. What are you working on?
I’m working on a third collection, To Lift the Continent.  So far, this collection of poetry focuses on women who love women, bringing someone you love into your lineage, and the history of my family when they came to America.  It’s been a beautiful experience writing Continent.  At first this collection was going to be called In Another Time, I Would Have Taken my Lover to Sicily, but as time went on I understood this title focused too much on loss, on the would have.  “To Lift the Continent” means to do the opposite–to forget about “would have” and lift weights, build muscle, understand present motion. “To Lift the Continent” means to dance with present motion, to get stronger in this dance.
 
 
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Here’s the thing: I choose not to process these similarities and differences. At least not at this time in my life.  I am not certain I would like to elaborate on that right now, either, but thank you for including this question.
 
 
 
3. Why do you write what you do?
Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know what to do with the energy.
 
 
 
4. How does your writing process work?
My writing process is a lot like a garage sale: Items accumulated. Some make sense together and other’s don’t, but they’ve got to go. They’ve got to get out.
 
 
When I roam, I often notice abandoned space. When a structure becomes abandoned, so many things can happen to it because this structure is now open, vulnerable.  People can vandalize its walls, make art in its walls, or even make a home for themselves in this place.  When a situation in life opens us, we become this structure–we have the potential to invite in energy. And I believe that our bodies/beings remember this openness and invitation; I do believe we carry it with us like a map, even when its time for us to become less open and receptive.  This, to me, is beautiful.
 
 
This is the deep seed of my writing process. This is what happens before the editing, the revising. This is the seed in the soil, about to burst open, understanding “This is what I will become.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mid-winter update:

Hello all,

It’s hard to describe what mid-winter feels like. It’s almost like sitting in the middle of a long hammock: There is a steadiness, a midpoint of balance.

I have a few exciting announcements to make: I’m honored that my work will be included in Sweet: A Literary Confection‘s anthology (forthcoming in 2014) chronicling all of the magazine’s poetry within the past 5 years. 

I’ve also been included on two wonderful lists!

Voicemail Poem’s Best of 2013Michael J Seidlinger’s Indie Lit Community Books of 2014 preview project

 

In two weeks, my photography will be exhibited at Brooklyn RAW’s PIXELS event! Mark your calendars: The show has been moved to Feb 2nd. 6 p.m. Buy your tickets here.

Lastly, I’m honored to announce that my collection For the Woman Alone is now a much longer project of poetry + photography. The collection is coming out with Ampersand Books in May.  “7 Ways of Unfolding,” a photo/poem included in the collection is also forthcoming with Sweet: A Literary Confection in their next issue. 

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Sending you all good energy during these winter months.

 

All my best,

Ashley

The winter months are long,

and I am learning how to stay patient in the cold. I’m learning that as seasons change, loss becomes more apparent. One month without, another month without. And yet, gain changes, too. One month building, another month building.

 

I began writing my new chapbook collection of poetry, For The Woman Alone, last April. It has transformed from a book about love, connection, and partnership to a book very much about loss and longing, the kind of love one finds when one has been alone for far too long. I hope it finds its way to you–you being anyone out there who feels like you’ve walked alone for too long, if it’s hard for you to see the end of this. I’ve learned that there is no clear end, but there is transformation. I hope that this book can be one of transformation for you.

 

Here and here, you can read “For The Woman Alone” and “Body, Out,” two poems that appear in the collection.  I am also happy to share that San Andreas Fault, which also appears in the collection, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Jason Cook of The Ampersand Review. 

 

November and December have been months of hibernation for me–I haven’t been in these temperatures for such an extended period of time in over a decade. And yet, these months have been of abundance. I have a new essay in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, and some of my photographs appear in the newest issue of Gulf Stream.  My profile at Brooklyn RAW is also up, and I’m very excited about being part of their PIXELS art show on the 26th of January. 

 

Here’s to 2014: I hope this year can be one of transformation for you. If you are looking for hope, here’s to you finding it, holding on,

a steady breathing. 

 

November updates —

Hello all,

I hope you’re enjoying November. I have a few exciting announcements.  At the end of October, The Ampersand Review published one of my newest poems, “It Begins (The Other End),” and I feel lucky to be able to share it with you.

Also, at the beginning of November, FIRST CORPSE was published!  This collection is an NYC-based Exquisite Corpse chapbook compiled by Katie Peyton and Jostph A.W. Quintela. I’m honored to be included. Arts + Letters by Samantha Annesley, Liz Axelrod, Jack Cooper, Zoe Greenbaum, Prudence Groube, Amy Kurzweil, Rebecca Nilson, Katie Peyton, Joseph A.W. Quintela, Barbara Rosenthal, Nathaniel Rosenthalis, Kiely Sweatt, Betty Tompkins, and Alison Williams.

Lastly, I’m happy to announce that my Etsy shop, LAND AND MOON, is open! You can purchase print copies of my photographs at this store. I am also selling my photographs with Mind of Pink Elephant Designs. 

Sending good energy to you as we move into winter.

Warmly,

Ashley

Autumn is here,

and the leaves are changing color. I moved all the way to Brooklyn from Central Florida in September, and I am so happy to be in New York City.  I love the way the trains move, sound. The way the air feels different, grounds you through its thinness. On some days I wake up and cannot believe I am here. Other days I wake up and feel as if I know exactly where I am. On most days, though, I experience a blend of both–the weight of first landing and the movement of adventure, of knowing a certain direction.

Before I left my home in Orlando, I performed “Body, Out + 7 Ways of Unfolding” at The Space. This performance was part of a larger show, I Believe in You. In my previous post, I write about this powerful night.

Watch “Body, Out + 7 Ways of Unfolding” here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJd7hmTHeec

Thank you, Jared Silvia, for filming.

I have a few more exciting announcements:

I’m honored to announce that on November 24th, I will be hosting Poetry Cover Night at The Bowery Poetry Club with Sarah Herrington.  I also have writing forthcoming in The Ampersand Review and Voicemail Poems, and some of my photography is forthcoming in Gulf Stream.

Earlier this year, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review exhibited Energies in their art gallery. Soon, I will be featured as a Spotlight Artist in this journal, which is a privilege. I am grateful.

And last Month, The Ampersand Review published my poem “San Andreas Fault,” which you can read here:

http://ampersandreview.com/2013/09/san-andreas-fault-by-ashley-inguanta/

Now, on to SmokeLong Quarterly — Issue 41 is out! I talk with Megan Giddings (one of our Kathy Fish Fellows) in this issue about her piece “The Eleventh Floor Ghost.” You can read the interview here: http://www.smokelong.com/interview/megangiddings41.asp

And lastly, I’m happy to announce that Joe Kapitan’s new book, A Pocket Guide to North American Ghosts, is out with Eastern Point Lit House!  I’m thankful that he chose my photograph “Madrid, New Mexico” to be on the cover. You can buy the book here: http://www.easternpointlithouse.com/#!product/prd1/1132467191/a-pocket-guide-to-north-american-ghosts

I am sending you all good energy as we move through autumn and into winter. Thank you for reading.

With gratitude,

Ashley

End of Summer updates —

Hello all,

Fall is approaching! I moved to Brooklyn last week, and I am looking forward to the season change.

I have a few exciting announcements:

1. I was fortunate enough to be included in There Will Be Words’ first ever all-women show. This was the Lilith Fair for Central Florida poets, and it was an honor to read with Susan Lilley, Whitney Hamrick, and Stephanie Renae Johnson. You can watch our performance videos here.

2. You can also read the transcript for my video (“A Response to Rachel Simmons’ The Wonder and Sorrow Experiment”) here, at The Gallery at Avalon Island’s blog.

3. September 5th was John Cage’s birthday! To celebrate, I performed 4’33” with musicians Beatriz Ramirez-Belt and F.C. Belt outside of Lincoln Center in New York. We didn’t document the performance, but we had a lot of fun.  I love how this piece examines music and silence, and it was an honor to perform it.

4. Orlando’s I Believe in You show (which happened on August 24th) was powerful. I had the privilege of performing in this strong lineup:

Jessica Earley
Jack Fields
Melanie Lister
Stephanie Lister
Hannah Miller
Jorgen Nicholas Trygved

And I am also grateful to have share space with these visual artists:

Vanessa Andrade, Winter Calkins, Jack Fields, Greg Leibowitz, Sam Myers, Coral Tschannen, & Adam Vorozilchak

And DJ Child Heart lead an epic dance party afterwards.

For my performance, I joined forces with musician Rhae Royal and dancer Christin Carlow (now Caviness).

Artist Rick Jones got this photo of us as the performance began:

 

photo by Rick Jones

photo by Rick Jones

 

You can view a gallery of the night here, in The Orlando Weekly. Thank you, Lesley Silvia, for taking these pictures.

I will always be grateful to have been part of such a strong, encouraging community in Florida.

And now I look forward to expanding my community in Brooklyn.

 

Take care, readers, and thank you for being here.

 

Ashley

 

The Way Home: Full Length Video is up! Plus new blog post for the Avalon gallery —

I’m happy to announce that January’s full-length recording of The Way Home at The Timucua Arts White House is up on YouTube. Thank you Benoit Glazer, Mandy Burgan, and Christin Caviness (Carlow) — for everything.

You can watch the full-length show here:

 

Also, I recently wrote (and read aloud) a piece in response to Rachel Simmons’ The Wonder and Sorrow Experiment, which was part of the Imprint show at The Gallery at Avalon Island. Check it out here.

 

Thank you, always, for reading and listening.

 

 

Thank you, Orlando Weekly, for your support — always.

Thank you, Orlando Weekly and Jessica Bryce Young, for your support–always.

“Jessica Earley’s new exhibition, I Believe in You, isn’t just a portrait of her artistic community — it’s a testament to it.”

Read the full article in the Orlando Weekly here.

Interview in Orlando Arts Magazine

 

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Hello all,

I realized I never linked to this feature in the May/June issue of Orlando Arts Magazine. A very big thank you to Laura Cole for connecting with and interviewing me. I’m honored to be included in such an amazing lineup.

Read the feature here: Orlando Arts Magazine

As always, thank you for reading and connecting.

Ashley