Those of you that have been following Ashley-Rose in the underground poetry scene over the last 6 years, know that she leaves it all on the stage. Her poetry is captivating, conscious and entertaining all at the same time.Her voice is like a siren and she can only be described as “crazy-sexy-cool”. On July 12th  Ashley-Rose is back on the mic with poetry from her new book, Zip Your Own Dress. This Boston-based poet is taking her talent on the road this summer along side Books of Hope poet/musician Claire Lyrics and will kick off the summer tour at home in Boston at The Milky Way July 12th.  This will be a sold out show so please arrive early. Doors open at 9pm. Please arrive early if you are interested in open mic

Where:Milky Way-Brewery Complex    28 Amory St, JP

Time: 9pm

Cover: $8

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The front cover of The Anthology of Liberation Poetry, cover design by Aldo Tambellini.Not many poets can say they have trained under the best poets in this country, but  Ashley-Rose sure can.

Studying under great poets and activist such as Black Arts Movement co-founder Askia Toure, Everett Hoagland and Aldo Tambellini Ashley-Rose has been prepared to create change through poetry. “By working with the elders, I learn how to avoid pit falls  in the poetry movement while gaining wisdom from those leaders have created change in the past, and use that knowledge as a tool  to create change in the future.

In 2012  The Liberation Poets Collective (LPC) released an anthology called Liberation Poetry, which is composed of poems from artists, writers,teachers,activist and cultural leaders that raise awareness and consciousness through political and peace-making poetry. Ashley-Rose was one of the youngest authors to be included in the anthology which featured her poems ,The Other Side of Ruggles and Detroit:Collapse of a Kingdom   both of which have received high reviews readers and listeners around the world. alongside

Ashley-Rose’s poetry opens people’s eyes to issues  that the naked unconscious eye would overlook. Take for example her poem The other Side of Ruggles, everyone who lives in or has been to Boston knows that it is a divided. Ashley-Rose puts rhythm and reason  behind “the divide” she explains the complex divide in simple stanzas that speak to the soul.

This past April The Liberation Poetry Collective was asked to participate in the 2012 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. In round-robin style LPC read from the group’s two published anthologies and/or from individual works. The members of this multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, inter-generational Collective  recited their socially/culturally conscious poetry/music in various languages including, but not limited to: English, Italian, French Creole, French, Spanish and Crioulo.

“When I hear my mentors Baba Askia, Professor Hoagland ,Tontongi,Aldo Tambellini and Soul Brown perform, I just feel like I should be taking notes. They drop so much knowledge you have to read and listen at the same time. Every line they speak generates deep thought that i know will lead to deep changes in our community.”

This year  Ashley-Rose blew poetry lovers away  with her poem “Unforgettable” an ode to the Black Arts Movement (BAM). Ashley-Rose brought  poetic attention to the  importance of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) and BAM’s contribution to todays poetry.”All too often my generations forgets that we stand on the shoulders of those before us. If it wasn’t for  our  BAM elders, Black and Latino artist would have the opportunities that we have today. I am just lucky enough to know my history and try to share that knowledge with my audience and students.

Ashley-Rose not only performed an amazing poem, she even brought along what Anna Tambellini called a “gift” for her mentors in the LPC. She brought award-winning Books of Hope author and Words for Deaf Ears team member ,Yolandi Cruz to perform her hit poetry piece Farmers Market .Books of Hope staff Ashley-Rose,James Milord,Soul Brown and Liz Gray worked with Yolandi and her Words For Deaf Ears Team members and coached them to 1st place in the city of Boston and 2nd place in the state in the LTAB youth slam poetry competition.

Ashley-Rose stated that her biggest compliment came from New Bedford Poet Laureate, Professor Hoagland who wrote to Ms.Rose after the festival  and expressed his appreciation,

“I was besides proud that you, Ash, could encourage, could coach, could teach, could get a bright, impressively capable youngster like Yolandi (who is going to become a nationally recognized artist if she keeps up the good work) to make such a superb performance of spoken word poetry-with-body-language-poetry. And Soul Brown should be proud of you, one of her protégées, for working so effectively in The Tradition of “paying forward,” as they say. You are already such a good teacher, as well as outstanding poet, Ash.”

“Hearing poems from my mentors and getting  that compliment from the Professor was all I needed. National Poetry Month and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival was a hit to me.”

If you are interested in purchasing copies of the Liberation Poetry Anthology that include poems from great poets including  Ashley-Rose  please email ashleyrosepoet@gmail.com 


 Books of Hope Poet Jordan Young performs his original Poem D.J Henry a LTAB Competition

May 15-June 22                       FREE Books of Hope Poetry and Performance Workshops taught by Ashley-Rose and Liz Gray

Would you like to take poetry classes with the  Books of Hope coaches who taught and trained  the #1  slam team in the City of Boston and 2nd best Slam team in the State of Massachusetts?Here is your chance!

BOH Poetry Production and Performance workshops will be offered for FREE every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Whittier St Health  Center and every Monday and Thursday  at the Mystic Community Center. Classes reach capacity quickly so please email ashleyrosepoet@gmail.com a to register for classes. Please note that BOH classes are  for Boston and Somerville residents ages 13-23 only. You must pre-register to attend.

Saturday May 5th       3rd Annual Cambridge Poetry Jam

Cambridge Public Libray 449 Broadway st

 Ashley Rose performs at 12pm Books of Hope Poets at 3pm

May 9th                                                      Books of Hope Book Release Party

May 22nd   7pm                                     Cafe 939 Boylston St Boston (Performance)

May 23rd   8pm                                      SHINEBOSTON TV Interview with Ashley-Rose,Liz Gray and Books of Hope Poets

May 24th 8:30am-3pm                      Youth Leadership Conference  at UMass Boston (Workshop and Performance)

May 25     12:30pm                                Community Crusaders Conference Pilot School

June 7th                                                     Simmons College

June 22nd                                                Whittier Street and Books of Hope Talent Showcase

July 14th                                                    Arts in the Park @ Washington Park

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“When Liz and I  agreed to coach the Books of Hope :Words For Deaf Ears Slam Poetry Team , we knew they were going to make history and make Boston proud.” Books of Hope Artistic Directors Ashley-Rose and Liz Gray could not have been more right. The  Books of Hope (BOH)  youth poets  composed of  Aminata KeitaArlene BaldwinClaire AicindorJordan Young, and Yolandi Cruz who place 1st in the City of Boston and 2nd in the State in the 2012 Massachusestts Louder Thank A Bomb Competition.

The Books of Hope (BOH) program is literacy  empowerment program that brings creative writing to youth in communities where they lived.By partnering  with local housing developments,drug rehab facilities and youth programs BOH is able to make positive change in Boston and across the state.

“Words for Deaf Ears is like Boston’s Poetry Dream Team.” That is how Books of Hope coach Ashley-Rose describes her Words for Deaf Ears team made of youth authors from Roxbury,Dorchester, Roslindale,Somerville and Cambridge. Ashley-Rose and Liz Gray spent the last 4 months training Books of Hope poets to compete in the LTAB poetry slam.

“I love my city.” said Ashley-Rose.” I attended Boston Public Schools and Boston Centers For Youth a Family. I am as Boston as B.N.B.L. I gained so much from teachers,coaches and mentors who built me up.So to whom much is given,much is required.I know its my duty whether through arts,athletics or activism to build a better Boston.To have the chance to give back and coach teen authors from Boston,  who didn’t think they anyone wanted to hear their poems, then have them place 1st in the City of Boston and 2nd in the State in a  national slam competition, I am beyond proud of them .Their words didn’t fall upon deaf ears.”

Its hard to believe it when you see WFDE on stage but  they did not think they had the ability to bring their poetry to life. “I am a confident author and playwright but I doubted myself on the stage. But by studying under Liz, Ashley-Rose and Soul at the Books of Hope Program, I learned to breathe air into my poetry, I learned to write and perform my life.”, says Boston Arts Academy senior Yolandi Cruz.

Yolandi Cruz was able to bring in 10’s with her salsa syncopated spoken-word piece Farmers Market that criticizes the US for celebrating Christopher Columbus day. “Farmers Market is from my first  Books of Hope book called Jump released last year.For the last few months  I worked closely with BOH staff, Ashley-Rose and James Milord to  make the poem  Farmers Market tell the story of my people on stage.” Her people ,who reign from Domincan Republic, heard her clearly because Yolandi was featured in the #1 Latin Newpaper El Planeta this past April.

The stories for “my people” theme resonances with Books of Hope poets, especially when you hear musician turned poet, Claire Lyric perform her ode poem “Tuskeegee”, that honors the Tuskeege Airmen and highlights how Black history is American history.” I didn’t even know who the Tuskeege Airmen were until I joined Books of Hope  and Ms.Ashley-Rose and Liz talked to us about it in class. From there I agreed to do a poetry piece on the Airmen. Books of Hope staff helped me study and create a poem that I will remember forever. I never thought that my piece would have this effect on people. People say my poem empowered them.That’s amazing!” Claire Lyrics is the BOH Haitian, singer,song writer and guitarist that had crowds in tears of pride, after every performance. Prior to the BOH program, Claire Lyrics  never thought she could slam. “I sing, play the guitar and consider myself an artist. It wasn’t until I started going BOH that I realized I am a writer. I am a poet.”

Books of Hope’s  poets build self-efficacy and skill by attending writing classes taught by BOJ staff  2 times a week, that prepares them to publish their own books.” I was ready to write a new book this year. I did not know I would become  a slam poet.” The words of Aminata Keita, an  immigrant from Africa, rang clear at the LTAB Competition.

Her poetry piece Accent, addressed the discrimination faced in America by immigrants who have accents.”I did not want to perform the piece because people always say its hard to understand what I say because of my accent. But after I performed, I think America heard me and clearly.I am an immigrant.I am American. I am a poet.”

With intense writing courses, performance workshops and practice, BOH poets went from authors to performers.  The fact that they are authors gives them a unique touch in the slam world. “Their  poetry has the ability to  exist on the page and on the stage. Every time they open heir mouths on that stage, they are  not only sharing poetry with you, they are sharing their lives.Their poems are their lives. Books of Hope poets understand they are the voice for the Other Side of Ruggles, the side of Boston that is often silenced.”, says coach Ashley-Rose.

“What surprises me most is how many people doubted them in the beginning. Because they were authors from the projects, with no slam poetry experience and they were coached by Liz and I, artist who don’t believe in slam, people counted them out from the beginning. Plus most slams tend to score urban poets poorly because they do not understand our stories.To see BOH poets turn around and go further than anyone expected, including themselves, it reminded me of why Liz and I joined LISC-AmeriCorps and chose teach poetry. It reminded me that poetry heals the broken and breaks barriers.”

Some of the most touching poetry came from Arlene Baldwin and Jordan Young. Arlene is a community organizer from Boston, who turned her boyfriend’s 2010 unsolved murder into a poem about perseverance and taking a stand for peace.”When I was asked to join the program I was scared because I didn’t have anything to write about and never wrote a poem. But when Books of Hope asked us to write about something we lost, the Jordan poem just came out. I didn’t know it but or so many months I was walking around depressed and helpless because of Jordan’s murder but writing poetry taught me to address my problems.I realized through the BOH program that I can save other teens from feeling alone and that I can stop bullets with my words.”

But it was Jordan Young’s Piece “D.J. Henry” that really showed  LTAB that Books of Hope is about “writing” what’s wrong. Through the angelic, social justice ,spoken-word piece called “D.J Henry”, Jordan Young brings light to the tragic death of D.J Henry, who was killed by police in New York.

“I wrote D.J. Henry because I know that until we stop police brutality me and every  young, Black male in this country is a potential D.J Henry case.” When asked how he prepared to write the piece Jordan stated that,” I prayed and researched. I spent 2 days a weeks for 3 months, working at BOH finding facts about the D.J Henry case . I spent the other time praying that I would  do justice for D.J and his family poetically, because they deserve it.” Poetically speaking,justice was served.

If you would like more info about Books of Hope summer programming,workshops and performances please visit booksofhope-ma.org or  email griothouse@aol.com and ashleyrosesalomon@gmail.com

E.Gaines

Ashley-Rose and ARTOVOTION are proud sponsors and presenters for the Fenway Health Center’s

Community Summit:Empowerment and Violence Prevention for Social Change happening April 6th.

ARTOVOTION Instructors Liz Gray and Ashley-Rose will host a workshop relating poetry,painting and peacemaking.This is a free event but space is limited.Please register by clicking on the link below.

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Through the ARTOVOTION program Ashley-Rose and Liz Gray will  educate  young poets about Hip-hop,Spoken-word poetry and Identity.  As activist, artist and educators Liz Gray and Ashley-Rose teach an upbeat  workshop that gets to the real  purpose of spoken-word poetry. Please register your student and/or school for Student Day of Poetry ASAP by clicking on the SIGN UP NOW link below. This is a FREE event.
to be held at MIT (8am-2:30pm) on Friday, March 30th.
 
The Student Day of Poetry (SDOP) is a full day of innovative Poetry workshops & Spoken Word Performances provided FREE of charge to all Massachusetts students. What better way to engage your students in literacy than a full academic day of innovative poetry workshops and performances by over 30 of Massachusetts best poets, performers and teaching artists? Your students will be surrounded by hundreds of their peers hunched over tables, scribbling poems and raising their hands to share. We are positive that your students will walk away inspired.
Already 25 schools are participating and we have room for 10 more. So sign up now.
Student Day of Poetry Festival Highlights!

An incredible variety of writing workshops led by a wide range of poets and performers – even a few with a science & technology twist to fit our grand venue

ARTOVOTION presents Hip-Hop, Spoken-Word Poetry and Identity

Instructors: Ashley-Rose and Liz Gray

ARTOVOTION Course Description:From their origins to current times, hip hop and spoken word cultures have shaped representations of identity and encouraged socialawareness and change. This workshop will explore the media’s role and
influence in hip hop and poetry as well as the impact of artists such
as Tupac Shakur, Alicia Keys, Immortal Technique, Jessica Care Moore,
and La Bruja.  Participants will pump the power of their words through
pens and microphones as they create and perform an identity piece.

We will have workshops that range from spoken word to sonnets and for middle school students to sophisticated seniors, for student who cannot wait to get to the Poetry Club meeting and for students who aren’t sure they even like poetry — and everyone in between.
to to make sure that your school gets the chance to participate in this absolutely free event!!!
Check our website for more details and the day’s schedule: MassPoetry.org
Feel free to inundate our School Programs Coordinator, Amanda, with any questions you may have at torres@masspoetry.org .
Other courses include…
An exclusive sneak peek performance of Hoop Suites an interdisciplinary performance piece integrating violinists , dancers and spoken word artists to premiere this Summer in the basketball courts of Boston & the ICA!
First Wave , the only degree program in Spoken Word and Hip Hop offered in a major university in the US, is flying in to host a workshop and deliver a special performance.
An all-star led open mic where your students can have the chance to tell their own stories on the same stage where Obama spoke: The Incredible MIT Kresge Theater!
See you March 30th!