Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Ashley Mezzano from our tenth issue.
Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?
Ashley Mezzano: I believe creativity is a work in progress. While I certainly look to events in my own life, I also try to incorporate news, pop culture, and conversations into my work as well. Even if the poem doesn’t work out, I get to think about my surroundings in a deeper way, so I think of it as a win-win situation.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?
Ashley Mezzano: As far as poets are concerned, I would love to meet Torrin A. Greathouse in the flesh one day. Her poetry is so raw and focuses on the body and words in a way few can so masterfully capture. She’s taught me so much about my own poetry and perspectives as an artist!
Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?
Ashley Mezzano: I’ve always been a “nature-minded” person. My undergraduate is in Marine Science and before returning to school or becoming a teacher, I was really lucky to have worked or interned in so many beautiful environments. I still think about my time in Maine, Alaska, and Australia a lot. I credit my experiences for a lot of the natural imagery I invoke from time to time, even if it’s just the more abstract concepts, like rebirth or cycles.
Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?
Ashley Mezzano: In Tiny Spoon, my works “Ouroborus is a Woman” and “On Loving Your Wife, The Worm” are both about my experiences with familial love and self love, and how hard it can be to love someone wholly. In “Ouroborus is a Woman,” I compare my past to a carcass and blame my birth for the destruction of my mother’s peace. In “On Loving Your Wife, The Worm,” the worry of destroying love persists, but this time in a relationship between a wife and her husband. While the latter poem ends on a more touching note than the first, both focus on natural imagery that is rather unpoetic, such as vultures picking apart flesh or apple cores thrown haphazardly around a bedroom. My goal with both these pieces was not only to show how messy love can be, but how past experiences and mental illness can warp a person’s sense of self.
Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?
Ashley Mezzano: I have recently had a chapbook accepted by Beyond The Veil Press titled, “We are Creatures of What Has Happened” for publication. It centers around themes of mental health and recovery. It’s my first chapbook and it will debut later this year!
Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?
Ashley Mezzano: Oh goodness. Since I brought up Torrin A. Greathouse earlier, I’ll deviate away from poetry and talk about longer forms of literature for this question. I love generational stories and stories that feel like epics. I’d easily recommend Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, One Piece by Eiichio Oda, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, and These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card to anyone. They may not seem like they all share similarities, but all of them focus somewhat on circumstance, legacy, and generational relationships.
Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?
Ashley Mezzano: I’m incredibly touched by anyone who has read my work and found meaning in it. I’m still very early in the publication stage of my writing career, and every person who finds me feels so special because I know how many great writers are already out there. Thank you for spending your time with my words. I hope I can continue to meet your expectations.
Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?
Ashley Mezzano: Please follow me on:
Twitter – @ashley_mezzano
Instagram – @waytogomezzano
Chillsubs – https://www.chillsubs.com/user/ashley_mezzano