What I believe

The teaching of creative writing should:

  • be inclusive to contemporary writers of diverse backgrounds and identity expressions;
  • be student-centered, free verse, generative, and reflective to empower students to view themselves as writers;
  • emphasize rhetoric and the dynamic of audience awareness and intentional language choices;
  • emphasize process over product; and
  • have a more active role in partnerships, both in the classroom among writing groups and with community groups to share resources or opportunities.


What I do

These core elements are represented in the overall curriculum design and reflected in writing activities. And thus, both the written work and the student writers are viewed as art-in-progress. Students discuss writing as a social and rhetorical act, as a creative and artistic process, and as something that gets better with guided practice.

influences + Resources

marty mcconnell + the gathering voices approach

(1) We value the potential, the experience, and the perspective each person brings. This is reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes.

(2) We approach poems not as broken things in need of fixing, nor as objects of like or dislike, but as subjects of study and analysis, artworks whose possibilities we get to unpack.

(3) We come ready to work, eager to engage, and committed to creating a positive, challenging environment for everyone.

Which includes:

  • Curiosity about new perspectives, approaches, and possibilities;
  • Receptivity to ideas, to art, to each other;
  • Joy in the work and in the community; and
  • Rigor in our approach to growth, both our own and other people’s.


huey + kaneko, poetry: a writer’s guide and ANTHOLOGY

Not only is writing a practice, but the practice of writing is a muscle we strengthen through habitual reading and writing *and* a rhetorical practice that includes intentional language choices.

michael kardos, the art and craft of fiction

Being a writer means paying attention to the world around you, discovering and developing a focused study and guided practice of description and storytelling.


Designed and led by Ashley Taylor, produced by Louisville Literary Arts and sponsored by Kentucky Humanities. In this workshop, I ask writers to reflect on What’s a vote worth? and What poetry can do. I ask what art has been formed out of oppression and necessity.

Location: WXOX Flight Deck Gallery 515 W. Breckinridge St

Workshop: 9/28, 10/5, 10/12 @ 1:00-3:00 PM, Reading & Exhibit: 10/23 @ 7:00 PM

poetry derby workshop

Facilitated by Ashley Taylor; produced by Kristi Maxwell and sponsored by the UofL Creative Writing Program + Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society.

In this workshop, I visited with Aletha Fields and her students at Iroquois High School. The students discussed the necessity of their own voice, of paying attention to the world around them, and about how much perception matters (and doesn’t matter) for the image of who they are and can be.

future projects + collaborations

More info soon.

Keep your eyes on 

  • Poetry Is **
  • Lipstick Wars 2020 **



more soon.

Stay Tuned.






“In Other Words” Poetry workshop, Reading, + Exhibit

“Every word is connected to other words, to history, to culture, to how we see.” –Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within

In this workshop, I asked writers to reflect on what’s a vote worth. And what poetry can do. I asked what art has been formed out of oppression and necessity.

We reflected on what it means to have a voice. To be silenced. We reflected on boundaries and spaces; how to symbolize, characterize, or, in other words, describe and manifest their own voice as a national voice. How to connect across divides.


We read poems by Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Elizabeth Alexander, Julie Marie Wade, Ada Limón, and more. We experimented with form: ars poetica, persona, ekphrasis, inauguration poems, and collaborative writing. We discussed erasure as a conversation, as silencing, and as voicing from the margins of a dominant narrative. We explored what stories might be missing from our own histories.

We talked about designs where voting is difficult and/or inaccessible; particularly those that are associated with marginalized communities; such as felon voting, what places even qualify as voting areas, where they disperse the polls, private places that don’t have to adhere to the disabilities act, immigrant ID and documentation, etc. We wrote about resistance. And hope.

Much gratitude to Amy Miller of Louisville Literary Arts, Sharon Scott of ArtXFm WXOX, and our sponsor Kentucky Humanities for this powerful experience.

workshop participants


jodi hooper

I am blown away by Jodi’s poem that fuses academic analysis, sci-fi film, and the grotesque abstraction of a subject that is creeping and lurking and in the static of our necklines: monsters in our everyday experience. Jodi is a fierce and creative thinker and poet.

kay shamblin

Kay Shamblin. I so very much admire the questioning and infolding of a clear voice that is tense and visceral. With surprising and surreal associations, I find myself reading and rereading Kay’s writing. The poems fully embrace the harshness and softness of a continuing need to speak on violences we experience. The titles are also fabulously weird & immediately grab me as a reader.

andrea hansen

Andrea Hansen’s poem calls to us via mantra-like repetition, evoking stronger and more nuanced images and connections each time. Andrea’s writing is vulnerable and imaginative. 

izzy wilson

Izzy Wilson’s writing explores a hybrid identity and how silence is a type of horror. She offers specific and detailed narratives, allowing a once-silenced collective and diverse national voice speak its pain through her words. I am impressed by the reach of Izzy’s poetic voice.

katy harvey

Katy Harvey’s writing is meditative and philosophical. Her poems beautifully illustrate symbolism for silencing and the importance of words, and how language is active and dynamic.

diane cruze

I am humbled by Diane Cruze and her ability to reach into history to connect across time. In one poem, Diane reflects on a photograph of suffragists and relates it to current movements and marches, down to the details of hats they wore. Diane’s poems remind us that we are all part of a legacy, and that is our power.