Ashley Wonder started off by telling us that she is a Spoken Word Artist and saxophonist, born and raised in Worcester, MA. She shared that she has always written in journals when she was younger, that turned into some dark poetry that she didn't share with anyone. Then she finally found the courage at 23 to start sharing some of that work in the black churches in her city, "once I got comfortable with my voice and delivery I started traveling to Open Mics in Boston and attending many in Worcester." She then began to compete in poetry Slams in Boston and Worcester that helped her with stage presence, format of poems and timing. She continued, "I was blessed to be on two of our Worcester Slam Teams in 2015 and 2016 getting to travel to Oakland, CA and Decatur GA both experiences were very enlightening and inspiring as an Artist to be around incredible poets from all over the world!"
In Ashley's free time she teaches workshops to youth all over MA with the intention of having an experience with poetry that isn't taught in schools. "Finding their voice, realizing that we all have struggles to overcome and you don't have to suffer alone. Writing the pain out brings its own freedom," she expressed.
Spoken Word artist, Ashley told us her favorite experiences as an artist which is having features, "it's all about what you want to bring to the audience that night. It's a different experience every time," she added, "the most fun I've had before the world changed is sharing the stage with other artists friends! It's been a long dream of mine to collaborate with other creative people who I have a deep admiration for." She also shared that she loves having multiple opportunities to share the stage with one of her favorite people is Star, from The Sunset Kings, "I'll always be grateful for them!"
Ashley writes her own pieces and mentioned one of her favorite pieces she wrote, sharing that it was inspired after the Black Poets Open Mic in Decatur, GA. "The poem talks about police brutality against a Deaf person. As difficult as that topic is the performance piece is what I like because I add American Sign Language which I'm fluent in, and it talks about something I don't see many poets addressing."
Ashley Wonder's message other supporters/audience:
"Self care should always be the priority."