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Ashley Howell Bunn


The author of "how to drive home in the snow" and "Ojo Caliente" in ISSUE 03 and her thoughts on somatic experiences, the importance of community, and letting go of expectations.

What are you reading these days? Do you love/hate/feel neutral about it, and why?


I am reading American Wasteland by Alexander Shalom Joseph. It is a book of short stories, and I love the cynicism and tenderness of it. It holds space for the depressing space of American late-stage capitalism while recognizing the humanity of those trying to survive through it. 


When you are working on a piece, what inspirations do you draw from?


I draw from personal experience most often, but sometimes it will simply be an observation or line that comes to me and that is the starting place. 

What craft elements are you most interested in/attached to within your writing?


My work deals a lot with somatic experiences, and right now I am most interested in creating ways to connect the physical and energetic bodies to the creative mind. Lately, I have been interested working with boundaries both on the page and in the body, and how we can work with our boundaries for safety and expansion. 


What are some ways in which you remain productive/find time to be a writer? 


My writing groups really help me stay present with my work. Community is so important, and I am very grateful to have many beautiful artistic communities. 


Tell us what your writing space look like.


Anywhere. On the couch. On a walk. Sitting with my son while he falls asleep. Pulled over in the car.  I really just try to let myself write whenever I have time and energy. 


What are some ways in which you get through a block in your creative work?

Rest. Rest is so important and powerful, and we often don’t give it enough respect. It is both ok and necessary not to be productive at all times. 


How do you navigate the experience of submissions/rejections/acceptances?


This is a great question, and something I had to learn to work with. When I first started writing and submitting, every rejection felt like a failure. It was a process to come to terms with how important writing was for my personal growth, and allow myself to let go of expectations. As I let go, things started to happen. Now the process feels more fluid- acceptances and rejections- and I trust that my work is going to find its right place and the right time. 


Regarding your pieces in Issue 03, what do they mean for/to you?


The first poem in Issue 03- “how to drive home in the snow” holds a very special place in my heart, and I am so happy it found a home with Champagne Room Journal. It was one of the first poems I wrote about my father passing. I wrote it for my sister after our experience of leaving the hospital on the night he passed, and not knowing what to do next. 


Do you have a recent publication/project you would like us to highlight?


My chapbook, in coming light, is available through Middle Creek Publishing.

Ashley Howell Bunn (she/they) completed her MFA in poetry through Regis University and holds a MA in Literature from Northwestern University. She is an experienced yoga guide trained in a variety of styles. Her poetry has been published in a variety of online and print publications, and their first chapbook, in coming light, was published in 2022 by Middle Creek Publishing. She is a founding member of The Tejon Collective, an inclusive creative space,  and she offers somatic writing workshops through her personal business Howell and Heal. She lives in South Denver with her child and partner. 


Social media: @howellandheal

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