By Manal Museitef |Managing Editor|
There are plenty of people in this world, on this campus, who know exactly what they want. There are some people who don’t have a plan at all, who take life as it comes. And then, there are people like Ashley Horton.
She is constantly changing her outlook on life, transforming herself through inspirational poetry, literature, and the elaboration of simplicity.
Soon to be graduating with an English degree in the Creative Writing track as well as with the completion of the English Teacher Preparation Program, Horton has great expectations for the future.
“With my teaching credentials I plan to use what I’ve learned in my classes to educate the younger generation,” said Horton.
Horton’s poetry pieces heavily speak on the psyches of transgendered people and those who identify themselves as the “black sheep.”
“I would love to do a collection that taps into their minds, expressing the perspectives and angles of their life,” said Horton.
Many of her work uses elaborate language, unexpected turns, beautiful rhythms, and chilling themes.
Some of her personal goals include spreading awareness of communities that might be falling behind in society through spoken word.
Since high school, Horton has always had a passion for poetry. She was able to face her fears as she participated in rallies, opened school events, and performed at open-mic nights in her hometown of Yucaipa.
Over time, Horton has grown and developed as a poet, becoming more and more confident in her work. She owes much of that found certainty to CSUSB English Professor Julie Paegle.
“She is the sweetest professor ever. She is kind, patient, and always helpful to her students, which is what I hope to be as a teacher,” said Horton.
Her fellow classmates also contributed to a great deal of her growing process.
“When we have workshops in classes it creates a great environment to analyze and critique. We develop more as writers and readers, always being inspired by each others’ work,” said Horton.
Horton infuses the writing techniques and skills she learns in class to create her best work.
Inspired by poets like Wislawa Szymborska, Horton enjoys writing that sticks out and perceives the simplest things in life as the most extraordinary.
It is telling in her poem, “Crossing Over,” that Horton is thoroughly committed to the themes in her poems.
The poem acts as a monologue for a transgender woman, unaccepted and misunderstood in the eyes of today’s society, starting with, “Tear me down the middle/ sow up/ any misunderstanding/ a stitch for ‘how’ a thread for ‘just because.’”
She may not know exactly what she wants, she may not have a completely set plan, but you can bet that Horton will be there ready with pen and paper in hand.
Read Ashley Horton’s poem “Crossing Over” at CoyoteChronicle.net.