To Be Seen / To Be Heard / To Be Read

A few weeks ago poet and good friend of Gracious Roots Ashley Crout and I had an opportunity to sit down over an always-astounding (how about that for alliteration?) cup of coffee at Greenville South Carolina's Coffee Underground. We both laughed at our deeply Southern upbringings and fought off tears as we swapped stories of childhood trauma that could only happen in the South. We solved complex world problems quickly and concisely (at least in our minds), and Ashley read some of her new writings. Ashley told me that she wanted to honor the Arts throughout the Southern Highlands. I thought it fitting for Ashley, a published poet with an MFA from Hunter College in NYC, to take the lead.

With each article placed on GraciousRoots, we aim to go better and brighter than the last, sharing new ideas, fresh experiences, and unheard voices. The evolving artists in the Southern Highlands region whose work we’ll be exploring give us insight into our homeland. They offer an artist’s eye for the exceptional and unusual beauty here. They seem to feel it more keenly, like conduits of spirit, channeling their emotions into physical being, into experiences that delight us. And frighten us a little too. Lord, we’re all glorious freaks…

Here are a few of Ashley’s poems. Take a look.