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Poet’s Viewpoint: Breaking Emotional Bondage

tears-torture-tomorrow

Arts & Events

Poet’s Viewpoint: Breaking Emotional Bondage

With her debut collection of poetry, Tears, Torture, and Tomorrow, Ashlie Weeks jumps onto the scene while tackling heavy themes such as verbal and physical abuse of women, self-confidence, love and the potential of love, equality and more.  Reading her poetry is reminiscent of interrupting a counseling session and handing the counselee a handshake full of freedom and open arms full of harmony. Ms. Weeks, an attorney, seems to be carving out a new, modernized path for rhyming/traditional poets with her first collection of verse as Tears, Torture and Tomorrow aligns with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

 

From “Get Over Yourself”

I resigned the next day as quickly as I could,

making a choice to move on if I should.

Years later you murdered your wife in your home

but the law was slow to make that crime your own.

You died soon after before your time

and your offense was finally brought out to shine.

 

We were glad to talk with Ashlie Weeks about all things poetry:

 

 

DC Life Magazine: How did you get into poetry?

Ashlie Weeks: I have been a writer for quite some time and was always winning writing contests and even had a poem published in college.  A bulk of this collection was written 8-9 years ago. It’s always been an outlet for me to be creative.

 

DC: When and how did you decide to put together this collection? 

AW: I was very inspired by the #Timesup movement as well as #Metoo and all of the brave women coming forward with their various stories of discrimination and harassment.  I had written these poems so long ago to cope with my own experiences and thought it was a good time to share them with other survivors and the public. Not only to tell my story but to possibly help someone going through the same and to try and be a meaningful part of this very important conversation.

 

DC: This collection speaks for women. Can you expand on this?

AW: My hope was to absolutely reach women who share the same experiences and to let them know they are not alone, and that they are brave and can persevere.  The current trends and discussions are a phenomenal step in the right direction and survivors need all the support that they can get. Equality is a fundamental right for everyone.  Women are amazing and my hope is that this collection helps those who may doubt themselves about speaking up.

 

DC: Do you have a line in your poetry that really stands out to you?

AW: “Today I found a hero, a hero I discovered is me.”  This is one line that I immediately gravitate to as many have told me this is powerful.  Sometimes you have to dig down deep and discover the strength and endurance you never knew was there.  You have to harness that ugliness for the better and be who you are meant to be. Be a hero to yourself.  It means you are your strongest ally—and that is what it meant to me too.

 

DC: Is their a goal in mind that you’d wish to bring to the forefront?

AW: It’s important to look at conscious and unconscious bias, and in my experience, the bias and gender discrimination that women are subjected to in corporate America is pervasive, condoned and protected by those in power.  We need women in all levels of decision-making and we need those in power to not dismiss women and hold them to higher standards than men. It’s important to reach the men in power and the women in power, as some female decision-makers can essentially act as guard dogs to the misogyny, having begun to treat women as poorly as some of the men do to endear themselves to those that hold the key.  It’s great to talk about it and finally have it out in the open but we do need to hold everyone accountable for equality. It’s critical to have action behind stated policies or words in an employee handbook or marketing endeavors. Women alone cannot achieve equality and everyone must address their own bias in whatever format.

 

DC: Is your creative process traditional or less traditional?

AW: It is less traditional compared to what I have seen for other poets.  I tend to write the name of a poem first and draft the words around that.  I also have ideas about poems in the middle of the night, out to dinner, walking my dogs—really, any time.  I make sure to make note of the title wherever I am and then work around that as soon as I possibly can. I write about things that have been said to me, done to me, or what I have heard and seen and/or all of the above.  I tend to write only what I know.

 

DC: Where is your ideal location to write?

AW: I like to write at home where I am not distracted.  I am an avid people watcher and when I get out in public places with a laptop, IPAD, phone, or whatever memorializing device, I will start to lose focus on my writing and my train of thought, especially when someone is around with an animal.  I become completely worthless around animals.

 

Buy the book here!

https://www.archwaypublishing.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001174370

Cultural and Poetry Editor

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