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6 Things with... Ashley Iguanta, author of "The Island, The Mountain, & The Nightblooming Field"

The Island, The Mountain, & The Nightblooming Field is a short, simple collection that honors a human connection with the natural world. There is more than one beginning to this story, and there is also more than one way to understand an island. And we learn, too, the many ways there are to open to love.

Ashley Inguanta is a writer, art photographer, yoga teacher, and holistic writing guide. With her writing, she often blends genre, bringing the rhythm, sound, and feeling that anchors her poetry into her prose. In her newest chapbook collection, The Island, The Mountain, & The Nightblooming Field, she gives readers poetry that thrives in its simplicity. Poet, There’s a Spark Within You is her first guidebook. She loves dogs, peppermint tea lattes, and appreciates organic farms and gardens, as well as the people who care for them.

Welcome, Ashley, thanks for stopping by, and congratulations on The Island, The Mountain, & The Nightblooming Field!' Could you tell us a bit more about the book? For example, what are six things that went into this collection?

  • Listening: I would trust my intuition, go for a walk, or stay in a quiet place indoors, and listen.

  • Consistency: Every day, I did my best to write a poem.

  • Understanding: On days no poems came, or on days the poems didn’t feel quite right/fitting, I accepted the pacing of this project with grace.

  • Coffee: At the time, I could drink coffee! It was a delicious companion.

  • Water: To balance out the coffee.

  • Gratitude: For the woman who taught me about growing food, for the woman who took me to the beach at night, for the strong horse I cared for growing up, for ferns, for so much more.

Five things you need to get some writing done?

  • The support of my writing group: We explore so much together, and their support gives me momentum.

  • Quality time in wild land: I love walking where the birds roam free, the alligators, the ants.

  • A bonding moment with a tree, plant, or animal: Once, I saw three deer in the Everglades, and they took me into poems.

  • Deep breathing: This reminds me to pace myself.

  • A simple environment: I once had the honor of staying in a simple shelter at Sundress Academy of the Arts. I used a wood burning stove and enjoyed being surrounded by trees.

Four types of readers who will enjoy this book?

  • Readers who find a connection to spirituality in nature: I think readers who love Mary Oliver would find a similar energy in this collection.

  • Readers who seek to write their own gratitude prayer: I hope this collection inspires readers, poets or not, to write in a way that is healing.

  • Readers who find peace in simplicity: These poems are very short and simple; you can hold one and carry it with you with, hopefully, a lightness.

  • Readers who love animals and plants: We have a fern who teaches, one untamed horse, a wise dog...

Three challenges you faced in the writing of this book?

  • Learning how to trust when the book is done: This was my first self-publishing endeavour. Choosing your own launch date is a big honor and is actually really fun for me, but it was challenging, too!

  • Finding my audience: I see this book doing really well at indie bookstores and even larger bookstores, but I also see this book finding readers in non-traditional environments like yoga studios, churches, and organic farms.

  • Simply getting the word out: It has been hard for me. Thank you for doing this interview and helping spread the word about The Island. It is appreciated. :)

Two writers/poets that have influenced your work?

  • Mary Oliver: Her collection Thirst is very dear to me. I am grateful for the way she explores her connection to Jesus, and I am also grateful for how she shares her grief in this book. Her partner, Molly, passed away, and in many ways Thirst moves with the love Mary has for her.

  • Virginia Woolf: The Island is such a simple collection! Yet, I am so influenced by Virginia Woolf. Orlando and To the Lighthouse really give me courage to write. Virginia was also self-published, which gave me courage to be, too.

One word to describe this collection?

  • Closeness: I wish for you, reader, that this book brings you a closeness to what makes you feel loved.

"The Island, The Mountain, & The Nightblooming Field" is available on Amazon. You can connect with Ashley on her instagram.

Disclaimer: "EMC's 6 things" interview series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.

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