ep. 35: Ciona Rouse

 
 

Poet Ciona Rouse shares her journey to publishing her first chapbook, Vantablack, discusses the importance of overcoming the taboo, reveals her trick for mixing mud masks, and explains how the Sunday edition of The New York Times completes her self-care routine. 

 
 
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Ashtin Paige

 
 
Writing poetry is freeing... I grew up with a lot of taboo and I think being able to write about it and then to read these poems aloud and to put them into something that can go live on its own it is just very opening… It helps me realize that everything that told me I couldn’t say or do... all those things were wrong... we CAN say and do those things, and we NEED to say and do those things, and experience life and talk about life and get messy because now it is messy. Right now America is experiencing a lot of messiness and we are all of the sudden realizing we weren’t just not talking about these things, but really addressing these things and really wrestling with them and really getting into the muck and mire that leads to healing earlier.
— Ciona Rouse
 
 
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Our guest this week is Ciona Rouse, a poet and author of Vantablack, a poetry chapbook released by Third Man Books in 2017. A staple of Nashville's literary scene, Ciona's poetry has been featured on WPLN Nashville Public Radio, Nashville Public TelevisionMatter, Talking River and NATIVE. Ciona curates many literary experiences in the city, including the monthly Lyrical Brew reading series at Barnes & Noble and Writings on the Wall, an interactive poetry reading at Atmalogy. Her poetry was recently acknowledged as "Best Dressed" by Sundress Publications and won the Literary Death Match at the 2017 Southern Festival of Books. 

In this episode, Ciona shares how she first discovered her love for poetry and how she has turned it into her career, offering up invaluable advice to others on a similar path. A native of South Carolina and the daughter of a United Methodist Church preacher, Ciona was raised with a lot of taboo and discusses her journey to overcome that in her poetry in pursuit of openness and healing. She shares how for her, poetry and books are beauty and pivotal to her self-care routine, including her weekly ritual of reading the Sunday edition of The New York Times with her partner. She also talks all about her favorite products, like her jade roller, Fenty Beauty Foundation and the shave brush she borrows from her husband to mix her clay masks. And to top it all off, Ciona beautifully reads a poem from her chapbook VANTABLACK.

Download the episode on iTunes or listen below, and scroll down for a full product breakdown.

You can find Ciona online at CionaRouse.com, on Instagram @CionaR and on Twitter @CionaR.

 
 
 
 
 
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Ashtin Paige

 

ciona's desert-island products


 
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OTHER THINGS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

shop ciona's episode


 
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Ashtin Paige

thank you, ciona!