ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | For the Woman Alone by Ashley Inguanta

Ashley Inguanta’s second collection is a collage of loss and healing, photography and poetry, memory and hope. Arranged around the author’s own photography, Inguanta’s sincere and passionate poetry holds moments in time and releases them with compassion.

What People Are Saying about For the Woman Alone

"This is a love letter this is a lost journal this is a found journal this is an artifact a record a trace an accident a secret a promise. This is a finger across the skin, for a moment, and then gone." – Stephen Graham Jones, The Least of My Scars

"For the Woman Alone is more than a book, it is an experience–it is the moment carefully carved out from the haunting past and daunting future. This collection reminds us that the moment is all that can truly belong to us–and the best of us is only found when we surrender it to another. These poems perpetually carry the scent of blueberries on a lover's breath and softly places us in the ocean. If you have ever wondered where to locate love, it resides within these pages." – Nicelle Davis, Becoming Judas

"For the Woman Alone is a raw and tender offering. Eat from its garden these words "soft as a cardinal," then swim dreamlike through "the open window" of each image unfolding "the layers of your life" and blooming like "a hymn in the sky." – Molly Gaudry, We Take Me Apart

Publisher’s Information

<li><b>PUBLISHER:</b> Ampersand Books</li>
<li><b>ISBN:</b> 978-0988732896</li>
<li><b>DIMENSIONS:</b> 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches</li>
<li><b>PAGES:</b> 48]</li>
<li><b>PRICE:</b> $24.95</li>
<li><b>RELEASE DATE:</b> 06/08/2014</li>
<li><b><a href="" target="blank">PURCHASE HERE</a></b></li>

Recommended Works by Ashley Inguanta

Favorite Eckleburg Work:

The Walled Wife by Nicelle Davis

Nicelle Davis's The Walled Wife unearths from the long-standing text "The Ballad of the Walled-up Wife," a host of issues that continue to plague women in the contemporary world: the woman's body as sacrifice; the woman's body as tender or currency; the woman's body as disposable; the woman's body as property; the woman's body as aesthetic object; the woman's body unsafe in the world she must inhabit, and in the hands of the people she loves. READ MORE

Open Letter to Quiet Light by Francesca Lia Block

Open Letter to Quiet Light will make readers feel as if they are peering at secret writings meant for the eyes of a lover alone, but these carefully crafted lines somehow transcend the personal to touch everyone who has experienced this kind of consuming, wrenching love.

In these fiercely passionate, devastatingly revealing, sometimes spiritual, and often painful poems, Francesca Lia Block describes in fiery detail the rise and demise of a year-long love affair. Her rich use of language infused with the power of sex and spirit finally paint a transcendent, almost mythic portrait of the way two wounded people—both searching for connection—find each other, collide, and eventually separate. The words seem to bleed onto the page and even the most graphic moments have a devotional quality filled with nuanced expression and unbridled intimacy. READ MORE

Discussion Questions for For the Woman Alone

  1. In For the Woman Alone, the speaker honors the one she loves through poems and art. Throughout your life, who have you loved? How can you continue to honor them, or begin to honor them?

About Ashley Inguanta

Ashley Inguanta is a Florida-based writer and artist who is driven by landscape, place. She is the author of three collections: The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press), For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books), and Bomb (Ampersand Books). Ashley has also served as the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly for the past five years. In 2013, she was named as “one of the six Central Florida poets you should know” by Orlando Arts Magazine, and in 2015 she was named Best Poet in Orlando by The Orlando Weekly.

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Ashley Inguanta’s second collection is a collage of loss and healing, photography and poetry, memory and hope. Arranged around the author’s own photography, Inguanta’s sincere and passionate poetry holds moments in time and releases them with compassion.

Join Ashley Inguanta, Author of Bomb at AWP 2018!

About Bomb

by Ashley Inguanta
Ampersand Books


"You will feel chills throughout your entire body. Read this book." — Francesca Lia Block

"Ashley Inguanta's Bomb explodes across the page, rendering to rubble what we think we understand about love, loss, and the self. Calling out to the ghost of Amelia Earhart and other "unbearable angels" of the American West, Inguanta guides us through the devastation with a voice that is both deeply vulnerable and wildly free. What else is there to say? I loved this book." – Monica Wendel

"Ashley Inguanta’s new collection of poems Bomb is an evocative meditation on the force of love’s explosive nature. Inguanta uses precise line and form to reveal a reverent, embodied experience with gorgeously layered images and metaphors to remind the reader of love’s familiar tendency to immolate. She maps the terrain of her poetry with cities, buildings, roads, and regions. Love is cartography as well as prayer and a lament. It is destructive, transformative, creative, anguished, passionate, quiet, and still. The lover and the beloved are often voiced as women, but not always. This collection is Inguanta’s heart. Bomb is so beautiful." — April Bradley

"To open this book is to enter the yearning of an uncommon angel, one who envisions the extraordinary in the ordinary, who sees how loss opens to love, how the natural world infuses cities with magic. Geese, coyotes, and roses share the space with glittering human-made lights. At once, though you may see the “Shutter, pressed” and “Life, suspended,” there is the movement of scattering seeds, the earth turning beneath those stars. When the world drops us, it catches us again. This poet navigates a landscape of tangible mirage and dreams in which letting go and merging become one and the same. There is so much light here, in everything, mapping a way for us through ache." — Darlin' Neal

Bomb, Ashley Inguanta's third collection, begins with two humans, and they both love each other deeply: One is attaching a bomb to the other, and they both experience this building/creation as intimacy, as care. Later, we find out what the bomb is made of. These lovers, their world explodes. They learn about themselves and about each other. And eventually, the bomb creates something expansive, something excruciating, something necessary, something exquisite. Purchase Bomb.

About Ashley Inguanta

Ashley Inguanta is a Florida-based writer and artist who is driven by landscape, place. She the author of three collections: The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books, 2014), and Bomb (Ampersand Books, 2016). Ashley served as the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly for the past 5 years. You can purchase her artwork at her online store, Echo and Dime:

ESSAYS | Layers of Energy

HistoryAshley Inguanta discusses her art with Eckleburg. Her works are on exhibit at the Eckleburg Gallery. She invites us to consider layers and energies that embody us.


I want to shape a moment for you:

Twentynine Palms, California desert. 2011. Mid-morning.  Lava-rock mountains surround.

I drive, dirt rising from the road, cakelike. I open the windows and the air is hot, too hot, beautifully thick with heat. I pull into a gas station. Two teenagers are sitting out front with a pit-bull; they’re drinking Slurpees. I go in, and as I walk I feel the precision of this moment — the dirt and heat, the way each lava rock fits its counterpart, the way these teenagers sit with this pit-bull, all together.  I didn’t take a photograph. This moment felt like a needle to me — thin, compact, sharp — and the thread was movement, driving away, understanding that we all grew from this planet somehow.  That, to me, was art. IS art.  Layers, growing. Energy, wrapping. The way we discover when we stay present. The way these discoveries bloom.

“Energies” are the feelings that shape us, feelings that stem from experience, from awareness in the moment. And yes, I realize that we can become more aware as time goes on. In a way, that is also how time and layers come together to create certain energies. Falling in love, for example, is a way to be wrapped in energy. Honoring a friendship by being fully aware, present, delving into each other’s lives without judgment — wrapped in energy. Being aware of how these experiences affect the body, where they “grow” — wrapped in energy.

Every time I connect with another being (human, animal, plant, etc.), I think of this being’s past and how each moment from birth until how has created this being’s energy. I also feel this, not just think this. The combination of feeling and thinking, of experiencing moments with another being, bonds time and the layers of this entity’s life.

When I worked at a florist’s shop, I didn’t need to know the exact history of a flower before I cut it; but I did know that the flower was a cut flower and that was enough: The flower was technically no longer alive when it arrived; I was dealing with energy that had passed on. The flower came to me with its own sacred geometry, its own energy, its own way of moving between existence in this world and existence in the place our energy travels next. I treated each flower with care, noticing each one’s smell and texture. A blossom grows, opens, shows its layers over time.

With the friends I’ve photographed for this Energy series, I was going to talk about the amount of time I’ve known each. But that is not important, I’ve realized. What’s important here is that each of our lives has brought us to this point — the point of photograph — and when I did these shoots, each friend knew the challenges and obstacles and joys I was experiencing in my life at the time. And I knew theirs, too. With Leslie, for example, we were both in transition. She was in the process of moving to North Carolina and I was in the process of moving back to Florida from California/New Mexico. We both wanted heavy change. We went into the water for this shoot, too, but I ended up using that photo for the 15 Views of Orlando book cover.  “History” and “Leslie” made it into this set because each photograph uses material to physically show layers, how they grow, where they grow. In the photographs, why do these layers grow where they do? We experience feelings within the body. In this series, I focused mostly on the throat/third eye/crown areas of the body. Body, mind, and spirit are connected when it comes to feeling, when it comes to creating energies, being wrapped in energy.

I’ve been very thankful for the relationships I’ve experienced that take into account the layers of one’s life — what each person/being has been through, how this past has transformed into the present somehow. In other words, energies can also mean complexities of life, and being wrapped in energy can mean how we experience these complexities.

Eckleburg: Are your works always in black and white? 

Not always, but a lot of my photographs are. Over the past three months I have been taking more black and white photos than I ever have. At first, I wasn’t too sure why. I knew I wanted to highlight shape and texture, not color, but I didn’t understand that I was craving shapes that were “drained” of something. I only understood that I wanted color drained a few weeks before I moved to Brooklyn from Orlando, Florida. I gave most of my clothes that were not black, white, or grey to a second-hand store. I kept few items with color and some Earth tones. But for the most part, I wanted a wardrobe that would feel, to me, very much like a foundation. I wanted the foundation to be enough.

Black and white photography portrays the base of shape, of texture, and I was very aware of how texture was working in these photographs.

Eckleburg: Among the pieces you submitted to us, do you have a favorite?

I am not sure if I have a favorite, and in terms of gratitude, I’m thankful that all of these photographs happened. “History” and “Leslie” were taken during the time of powerful transition. “3841” and the other numbered photographs were taken on a cold day in Florida this year, years after “History” and “Leslie ” in 2011, at a time of resistance, confusion, hope. Numbers play such an interesting role in our lives, too. We use them to control, to understand specifics. When I took this photograph I sensed that I was reaching the base of something. I was just starting to understand why I needed to use material in my photographs — feel the layers, fold the layers, understand the way moments unravel and wrap.   

Mother of Nature” was taken shortly after the numbered pictures, and during these moments I could feel community blooming, not only between the subject of the photograph and myself, but among our friends, the city of Orlando.

Eckleburg: Why do you choose photography?

I have never felt more connected to landscape and life until I started practicing photography in 2008.  I was working as a copy editor/reporter at the University of Central Florida’s school newspaper, and I was supposed to cover Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos with the photo editor.  Water ended up leaking on her camera, and she was unable to photograph the show, so she asked me to do it. I used my point and shoot and couldn’t believe the connection I felt in those moments. Photographing the show changed the way I experienced each moment of the show — I remember the way the pianists’ movements slowed as I held up my camera, the way I felt grounded — in the moment — as I pressed the shutter. I ended up pursuing photography from that point on.

I love the mindfulness photography requires. When I am shooting, the moment means everything. I must stay fully present. That, to me, is one of the biggest gifts I’ve ever been given in life.  And to stay present doesn’t mean I discount the past — it means I honor the way it has rolled into the present, the way it has layered itself into the present.

I’ve also painted with watercolors, but I haven’t done that in a while. I wanted to feel the body emerge on paper with color, stroke, shape.  I’ve also painted with acrylic and done some collage work. I am working on building an installation in a suitcase, too, that may take years to finish, which is inspired by Janet Fitch’s White Oleander.

I love that it takes certain projects years to finish. Decades. Even lifetimes. 


Ashley Inguanta is a writer/photographer who recently moved to Brooklyn from Central Florida. Her first collection, The Way Home, is out with Dancing Girl Press (and has been re-published for Kindle with The Writing Disorder), and she has translated the collection into a live performance, too, with music and dance. In late November, she had the honor of co-hosting Poetry Cover Night at The Bowery Poetry Club. Ashley is also the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly.