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An interview with spoken word artist Ashlee Haze

September 30, 2016

Michelle Ravel / The Courier

Last Thursday, ASAP hosted their first “Coffeehouse” event of the year, featuring spoken word artist Ashlee Haze.

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, the spoken word artist performed poems from her book, “Land of the Living”. The book and her poetry addresses hard hitting issues such as social injustices and dealing with grief.

“She did a great job and had a lot of energy,” said junior Tom Cangelosi. “She wasn’t afraid to talk about anything”.

“I think that art has always been a medium for communication,” Haze said. “It may be easier to swallow a pill in 3 minutes than it may be picking up the New York Times or listening to a TED talk. When we make info manageable, it reaches people better”.

Haze has been performing for eleven years and does showcases at colleges around the country, but she knew she wanted to be a poet at a young age.

“I’d always been a talker and kind of a performer, and my mother told me, ‘you’re gonna be a poet!’ And of course I said what every ten-year old says, ‘no I’m not! Poetry is boring!’ But then I got into it and heard some really great poets from Chicago, and I thought it was really cool”.

Haze’s book, “Land of the Living,” was published in February of 2016. It took four years to write and is split into two parts: “Grief” and “Life After Grief”.

“The sadder poems such as the ones about the death of my father and the death of black men in the community are at the beginning, and then we move into the happier side because there is happiness after grief”.

Haze uses her ability and talent to address issues that are hard to talk about, using spoken word as a vehicle to help her talk about them.

“It never makes it easy. I use the mic as a tool. I want to be able to take the microphone and talk about the hard things,” Ashlee said.

Ashlee’s performance was followed with an open mic session for students. ASAP’s next Coffeehouse event will be in November and you can find more information about Ashlee online at ashleehaze.com.

Cristian Corbett
Co-Editor in Chief

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