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Poet Ashlee Haze to perform at RIC

Sophia DiNaro

Anchor Staff Writer

Photo via ashleehaze.com/ric.edu

Award-winning poet and spoken word artist Ashlee Haze is performing in the Student Union Ballroom this Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Born and raised in Chicago, the now-Atlanta resident has been writing and performing poetry since 2006, when she won the grand prize at V-103’s “Got Word” Youth Poetry Slam.


Since becoming a full-time poet in 2016, Haze has won countless competitions and performed at events and colleges nationwide. She is a three-time Queen of the South Poetry Slam Champion, two-time Women of the World Poetry Slam Finalist and two-time National Poetry Slam semi-finalist. Recently, Haze was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk series, where she performed part of her wonderfully powerful poem, “For Colored Girls Who Don’t Need Katy Perry when Missy Elliott is Enough,” with composer Blood Orange. She published a collection of poems in her 2020 book titled “Smoke.”


Though she’s published her works, Haze prefers sharing her work with others at poetry slams. In an episode of The Poetry Magazine Podcast, Haze discusses this preference as it relates to the accessibility of her art, noting that inaccessibility is contradictory to a poet’s mission. She said during the podcast, “There’s a lot of rhetoric that says that that’s a less valuable form of poetry, you know, that poetry slam is commoditized, and all of these other things. But for me, ultimately, it’s about the integrity of the art. Whether you are writing on the page, or whether you’re speaking, are you reaching the people who you’re intending to reach?”.


Haze’s writing alone is empowering, and invigorating; as she performs, she wields the power to move mountains. She touches upon subjects like identity, misogyny and self-love, telling stories of her experiences with each subject through her art. Her electrifying voice and boldly confident stage presence breathes new life into her words and excites her audience. It’s no surprise that she was nicknamed “Big 30,” which she earned by consistently getting perfect scores at competitions.


Haze is an unmissable act. Don’t pass up on an opportunity to see her beautifully personal performance on Wednesday. Read more about Ashlee Haze and her work here.


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