Tiny Talks with Ashley Howell Bunn

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Ashley Howell Bunn from our tenth issue.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Ashley Howell Bunn: Movement in all its forms kindles my creativity: movement of body, of breath, of emotions. As a somatic writer and yoga practitioner and guide, I use my physical and subtle bodies to connect to my creativity and the beauty within and around all of us. I also find that this embodied approach to writing and creating helps me connect to the present, which is often difficult with my anxiety. Rather than inhabiting only the intellectual or physical, my goal is to connect and support others in their journeys to wholeness.

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

Ashley Howell Bunn: So many people. My son and his beautiful perspective on the world, my sister and her strength, my partner and his joy. My writing friends who support and inspire me in so many ways. My writing idols and heroines also include Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Andrea Rexilius, Khadijah Queen, Leslie Jamison, Emily Bronte, Gwendolyn Brooks, and so many others. There are so many beautiful words and souls, and I am honored to know them all in any way.

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

Ashley Howell Bunn: Everything in the natural world moves me and my work. The cover of my chapbook is actually a found poem I made from a hike I took in Golden, CO. I found natural objects that, for me, related to the Chakra system. It is moments like this, where I can clearly see the reciprocal relationship we have with nature, that I feel whole. Poetry is all around and within us, and the smallest stone holds and communicates everything we need if we are in the space to listen.

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 Howell Bunn: My process is a lot of intuition. I will think something, or see something, or feel something, and write down a small note (usually on my phone to be honest). Later, I will take time to sit with that thought or idea and write into it. I like to play around with form on the page- sometimes creating new spaces on the page to hold parts of experience. I do this quite a bit in my chapbook and use boxes to hold certain experiences or emotions, so they have a safe container on the page. I also play with sound and breath on the page to support a more embodied experience for both myself and the reader.

I also very much depend on my writing community to help me with my process. I am a part of a few writing groups, some generative and some workshopping, and this is an invaluable part of my process. Community is essential for me, and the inspiration and insights my friends offer are magical. We support and challenge each other in a myriad of ways. I actually wrote the poem published in this issue in one of my writing groups. My best work comes through connection with others.

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

Ashley Howell Bunn: I am working on a year-long somatic writing journey with prompts, somatic exercises, poems, and essays for each day of the year to spur reflection, connection, and grounding. I also regularly teach virtual and in-person somatic writing workshops, and I am working to share this with a wider community. I also have a few projects in my head, and a little on the page, surrounding sobriety and recovery, visual meditations, and a children’s book celebrating neurodiversity.

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

Ashley Howell Bunn: M. Archive by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Our Mother the Mountain, by Alexander Shalom Joseph, Pause, Rest, Be by Octavia Raheem, My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem, Sinner’s Prayer by Jason Masino, Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks, Anodyne by Khadijah Queen, Sister Urn by Andrea Rexilius, The Recovering by Leslie Jamison . . .just to name a few.

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

Ashley Howell Bunn: My chapbook, in coming light, was published through Middle Creek Publishing in 2022 and is available through their website. It is a collection dealing with the loss of my father, the pandemic, motherhood, individual and collective grief, and the energetic layers that we all inhabit and heal through.

I am also a founding member of the Tejon Collective, an accessible creative space in North Denver. I offer yoga, individual Reiki and Tarot sessions, and somatic writing workshops through this space, and we have a lot more to share soon! Follow on Instagram  for more details: @thetejoncollective

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

Ashley Howell Bunn: www.howellandheal.com, @howellandheal