One might think we with our sunny beaches, plastic bodies, high-end shopping, and Pitbull as representative that literary art forms like poetry and newsletters are left hiding in the shade. But, writing is not a lost art in Miami. In fact, there is a booming creative writing community sprouting under the grounds of the local arts scene. Poets, authors, journalists, spoken word performers, and songwriters, all driven by their love of their written and spoken word, are publishing books and creating gatherings to nurture their craft. One of these artists is Ava Graves, who is about to publish her first collection.
Tune into Heart Break FM, a sensual poetry collection from Ava Graves. Though she’s no stranger to the scene, she’s now branching out with her first book release, due out in mid December. She also has an active Instagram account with a mod aesthetic full of poems and, she’s been publishing the newsletter Taboo Times on it too.
We got a chance to chat with her about her art and inspiration.
Miami Chronicles: How would you describe the book?
Ava Graves: Heartbreaker FM is my debut poetry collection. It’s an eclectic set of poems based around a “radio theme” with titles such as: The Lovers Station, Frequency 936, Millennial Lovers Mix-tap, Bloody Art Radio, Factory Girl Blues, and more. I discuss modern dating throughout the book by including issues of my newsletter “Taboo Times.
MC: What do you hope to invoke in your readers?
AG: I write for the reckless heart and open mind. I hope to invoke feeling; the raw, nitty-gritty kind.
MC: What is your favorite thing about writing?
A G: Writing helps me articulate thoughts. I can make sense out of all the scattered pieces circulating within my mind, which would otherwise not make as much sense if they were verbalized in the moment.
I truly just want to feel understood. To write a piece others can relate to and say “damn, I’m glad I’m not the only one..I feel that.” That makes it all so worth it.
MC: Yes, that is The reason for writing. Who are some of your inspirations?
A G: Folk singers are my biggest inspiration. Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan totally move me. Bukowski is most definitely my favorite poet. He has a way of simplifying poetry, to make even those who hate poems, feel moved by his.
Lana Del Rey is also a huge inspiration for me, the way she invokes the divine femme in all her music, with style and sass, not to mention the poetry she’s coming out with is totally killer. Oh and I can’t forget my all-time favorite band, The Beatles.
MC: What is your purpose in creating Taboo Times?
A G: I want to shed light on taboo subjects coming from an out-of-the-box perspective. I want to be a voice for our community, discussing topics that aren’t typically talked about too often, but definitely worth speaking of.
MC: If you could meet with anyone famous dead or alive who would it be and why?
A G: This one is hard to answer because I know for sure that meeting your heroes can at times be disappointing.
They’re only human, after all. But I guess I’d enjoy having a battle of wits with Bukowski at a bar, then go home and write a poem about it.
Here’s a sample from the much anticipated book:
Miami hailed writer, Ava Graves, is the author of the poetry collection “Heartbreaker FM” and the underground cultural newsletter ‘Taboo Times’ She has been previously published by Kram Magazine, Sagewoman, SickLit, and her newsletter, Taboo Times, is soon to be published monthly in Miami Chronicles. @ava.graves