Photo by Thomas Calder
Alli Marshall is a poet, fiction writer, and performer. She’s interested in moving writing beyond the page, seeking the golden in the mundane, finding the intersection of art and social justice, and reconnecting with mythology — both ancient and modern.
Learn more about Alli here.
Every day I get an email from Meetup.com suggesting a new group I might want to join. Young Republicans. Future Farmers. Martial artists and stay-at-home moms and people considering becoming travel agents (is that even a thing any more?). None of them are my tribe. Meetup’s web-tracking technology clearly has room for improvement.
But the absurdity of the suggestions has inspired a tanka (a poetic form related to haiku) series. The titles are the actual meetup group names and first line or two of each tanka is taken from or inspired by that particular meetup’s description. Here’s the first installment:
keep one foot planted in the
It’s a delicate balance:
meditate or masturbate. Continue reading
This is a poem I’ve been working on for a couple of months. It names a number of Asheville, N.C.-based landmarks, characters, and artists, but my hope is there’s something of the universal. So many of us are witnessing the loss of our communities to the juggernaut of development and wealth, neither of which ever do much to forward the arts or the creative culture.
The Merle performing at Vincent’s Ear.
THE GHOST OF GAVRA LYNN
The man took the temperature
of this neighborhood and decided
in his boardroom that, yes, it’s time
to capitalize on what the artists
built. The ambiance of ingenuity mined
from the rubble. Construct a hotel
to tower over the coffee shops and dive
bars, over the thrift stores and book stores, over Continue reading
Image from Pinterest. No artist attributed.
It’s been a terrible week of world news. Terrorist attacks on a mosque in New Zealand, Israel launching air strikes at Palestinians in Gaza, a plane crash, refugees denied asylum at the U.S. border. I feel the heaviness and also I know I’m okay. I’m infinitely blessed and comfortable. I know this, but it doesn’t make me happy in light of the greater global sorrows. This poem, I hope, speaks to that. It’s personal. It’s a microchosm. But it’s also about the larger collective effort of rising and staking claim.
What do I know of triumph, anyway? I
spent the summer sweating in
an oversized sweatshirt to hide
the shame of my traitorous torso
when I should have flown
my name like a banner, like a kite — not
a child’s toy, but a bird of prey. This Continue reading
Inspired a ukulele made from repurposed church pews by the artist Zeke Leonard at Pentaculum 2019 — a craft and writing residency at Arrowmont School.
Photo by Dan “Soybean” Sawyer
Say an instrument is born with all of its songs
intact, DNA in the material from which
it’s forged. A ukulele fashioned from repurposed
church pews, the wood still holding ghosts Continue reading
Join me Thursday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 26 for The Oracle of Everything (as part of the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival). There will be costume changes, interpretive dance, a smoke machine and I made my own tarot deck. Show at 7 p.m. at The Sly Grog Lounge. Tickets go on sale Jan. 1.
Culminating my year as the UNC Asheville Ramsey Library Community Author Award recipient, I will be giving a reading on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6-7 p.m. Local musician Heather Taylor will accompany me. There will be snacks.
Photo Adam Taylor
Much of the work I’ve been focused on for the past year has been around themes of women’s wisdom, the mythology and archetypes of femme-identifying people, and social justice. I’ll be sharing pieces from a collection about the Oracle of Delphi (and my contemporary interpretation of that phenomenon) as well as a new piece that seeks to weave the mythology of the Appalachian/Cherokee Wampus Cat with that of the 16th century Mayan jaguar goddess Ixchel. There will likely be an f-bomb or three.
More details here.