Tiny Talks with Ash/ley Frenkel

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Ash/ley Frenkel from our tenth issue.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Ash/ley Frenkel: I love little moments: the sights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes of the everyday, of an intimate encounter, a meal, a memory. A playful exchange or a fun thought-provoking prompt or question also really get me going.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Ash/ley Frenkel: I avoid having idols to avoid disappointment, but Anthony Bourdain’s deep sense of wonder, caustic wit, and appreciation for food as a vessel for community and culture is a combination that I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Ash/ley Frenkel: Things like love and lust and water and light, as cliché as it might sound, continually draw me in and remind me that we live in a moving fluctuating rhythmic world. This answer just makes me sound like a weird horny plant… but if the pot fits.

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?

Ash/ley Frenkel: For poetry, my notes app plays a not insignificant part, at least as a place for early ideas, to get things started. My journal also acts as a gathering place that I pull from. And I cannot understate the importance of cafes, especially for editing. Sitting in a café, setting that time aside and letting the small noises of the place and people lull me into rare focus, plus a little coffee and pastry, oh yeah.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Ash/ley Frenkel: I perpetually have too many ideas floating around and have a few ideas for zines that bridge writing, photography and collage in fun ways, but they’re very early on so that’s all I’ll say. I do plan to expand on the book I self-published last year and organize some sort of meal with performative and interactive elements, but that’s also very much in an ideation phase.

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Ash/ley Frenkel: I hate recommending music to people, but as far as books go, I have many, many opinions. These are just some. There are always more:

  • Cooking as Though You Might Cook Again by Danny Licht
  • Bluets by Maggie Nelson
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia Butler

As far as visual art goes, Pixy Liao is creating really compelling photography that takes collaboration and partnership and gender and fucks with it all in really exciting ways. And an oldie but a goodie, but if you haven’t done a close-up deep dive of the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, you should consider it.

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Ash/ley Frenkel: I love to bake and cook for people and I like to laugh a lot, snorting and all.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Ash/ley Frenkel: I am in deep need of a new website, but for now Instagram is the best place to catch me @cardamom.communion

Tiny Spoon: Do you have photographs or images you would like us to share?

Ash/ley Frenkel: Here’s a picture of the erotic garden, the chapbook/zine I self-published and handbound forty copies of in 2022. Inside are twenty poems inspired by different fruits and vegetables, with prompts for the reader to interact with and move through different facets of love, lust, and whatever falls in-between.