Ashia’s debut full length poetry collection, Heirloom, will be published in Spring 2023 with Write Bloody Publishing
Currently booking Winter & Spring 2023
Seeking Opportunities for Writing Workshops, Poetry Performances, Conference Presentations
Workshops + Presentations
Myth Making & Environment: Creation, Destruction, Futurity
This workshop will use climate writing and art by members of the African Diaspora to inform young people’s own climate narratives. Climate change is one of the biggest sources of stress among young people; being able to write about our feelings and experiences with environmental harms allows for space to process these emotions and envision futures beyond harm. This workshop will use African and Caribbean mythology to analyze how different diasporic people have interpreted natural disasters and climate impacts for millennia, and what we can learn from these myths. Students will leave the workshops with written drafts, ancestral knowledge and environmental futures
Black Environmental Writing: Roots, Veins, Rhythm
The Black diaspora has a rich tradition of environmental writing, though oftentimes these themes are overlooked. This workshop will be an intermediate approach to Black eco-literature and its important contributions to environmental, social and climate justice. Participants will read literature by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Lucille Clifton, Thylias Moss and Nikky Finney to think about the ways in which the Black diaspora has both influenced and been influenced by the natural world. Participants will be encouraged to draw upon their own experiences and engagements with the natural world to generate shared knowledge about Black/nature relationships.
Storytelling Our Climate Futures:
Storytelling & Climate Futures hinges on the fact that storytelling brings us closer together. Stories reveal what is important, what our values are, what is worthy of preservation. Poetry has been revealed to increase empathy, and is an effective teaching tool, particularly when it comes to topics like climate change. Storytelling has been a cornerstone of the Black tradition since before the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It was (and still is) a way to harbor memory, pass on tradition from generation to generation, and honor the histories that make up Black life. We will be looking at a couple of climate themed poems by Indigenous and Black authors in order to build our own storytelling familiarity.
Ajani’s poems are tactile, textured, essential. Firmly wrought, they bear the weight of American history, the possibilities of hope, and the call for community. What a gift to spend time with this poet’s work.
…the poet offers us a space to reclaim that freedom, to persist in our own making, in our small exodus, without naming our perpetrators; where, for a moment, we too can feel the cool air wrapped around our Black bodies—and feel free to exhale.