Ashley Obscura

Ashley Obscura's picture
1988
Biography: 

Ashley Obscura is a Canadian-Mexican writer, publisher, and editor. Obscura's poetry is concerned with the intersection of the written word with digital platforms, and with using her poetry to acknowledge and explore life in a post-digital age. She is the author of the poetry collections Ambient Technology (2018) and I Am Here (2014) and many digital poetry projects, including Museum of Symmetry (National Film Board of Canada, 2018). Obscura has been anthologized as one of Canada’s 30 Under 30 poets (With/Words Press, 2017). Her poetry has also been anthologized in the United States and has been translated and published in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Romania. The founder and managing editor of Metatron Press, Obscura currently lives in Montreal, Quebec. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Professional Writing and currently works as a publisher, editor, writer, workshop instructor, public speaker, and project manager.

 

 

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

I discovered my love of poetry in grade 10. I was lucky enough to have a lover of poetry as an English teacher and to go to a high school that offered a Creative Writing class. I remember one of my first poetry classes was devoted to dissecting the meaning of e. e. cummings’ poem “since feeling is first.” I talked the whole class and was fascinated by the realm of metaphor expressed in the poem. This excited me very much. Poetry seemed, to me, to be some sort of puzzle similar to math, but composed of words, sentiment, and feeling.

 

since feeling is first
e. e. cummings


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
– the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I started mimicking poetry in elementary school when I disovered the books of Shel Silverstein, particularily “Where The Sidewalk Ends.” I loved how poetry pointed to this mysterious, magical, internal world that was not visible to the eye.

Learning to write poetry, for me, required a lot of impersonation of writers I admired. I moved in and out of a lot of impersonation before I stumbled upon my own voice and was able to comfortably refer to my self as a poet. I didn’t start introducing my self as a poet until I had completed my undergrad in Creative Writing from Concordia University at the age of 24, although I always considered my self a poet in my mind. 

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

A poet’s job is to translate an experience of life into language. 

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

Regardless” by Aisha Sasha John.

Publications: 
Title: 
Ambient Technology
Publisher: 
Metatron Press
Date: 
2018
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
I Am Here
Publisher: 
Metatron Press
Date: 
2014
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
30 Under 30: An Anthology of Canadian Millennial Poets
Publisher: 
In/Words
Date: 
2017
Publication type: 
Anthology