Is it the only way to survive
In this passionate sophomore collection of poetry, Ashley Obscura’s poetry explores the function of connection in a post-digital age and how one situates the self and creates meaning within the unions and chasms of our physical, virtual and spiritual selves. Ambient Technology occupies a space that bridges that gap between our visible and invisible worlds, between sentiment and emoji, between the opening and closing of heart matter. With great lust and desire, Obscura unearths something indestructible within ourselves, and lands amongst new tones of being and belonging in the sparkly lining of a too-real world.
Ashley Obscura is the author of two poetry collections: Ambient Technology (Metatron, 2018) and I Am Here (Metatron, 2014) and the scriptwriter and co-conceptualizer of three experimental video games. Her poetry has been translated, anthologized, and published in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Spain, Romania, and Germany. She's been anthologized as one of Canada’s best young poets (In/Words Press), named “one of the best poets in Quebec today” (Spirale), and anthologized as one of the most influential female poets in Quebec over the past 20 years (Anthologie de la poésie contemporaine des femmes au Québec). In 2017 her poetry was shortlisted for the Fence Poetry Prize. Her work and affiliated projects have been written about in the New Yorker, Dazed, Flare, Nylon, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, and more. Aside from her creative practice, she is the Founder and Managing Editor of Metatron Press, an award-winning literary publisher and innovative incubator for young poets.
“This book is the technology I want and need—of cosmic citizenship, opulent ecologies, feral vivariums of the self and of language. This is a technology that converts not getting the love you want into a vaster garden.”
- Erin Robinsong, author of Rag Cosmology
“A bouquet of miracles.”
- Liz Bowen, author of Sugarblood
“I recently read that the Navajo say that their healing songs are not for anyone; since they come from supernatural sources they are directed just to some people. If others hear them, they can be harmed. I was sad when I opened Ambient Technology, but Obscura showed me that there is a cosmic design to every feeling. Her book was a healing song for me.”
- Cecilia Pavón, author of Hotel with My Name
"Ashley Obscura has a way of using words to create such tender and bright images in your mind that leave you excited, enthralled and awakened. Her poetic language is soothing and embracing, and allows you to feel soft like you are floating in the womb. Read this book and relax yourself into the idea of channeling through space."
- Fariha Róisín, writer
The Puritan Magazine | "There’s an ardency and honesty to these poems that reminds me of Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets. It’s not a kind of poetics that’s taken seriously in Canada right now, but I think that’s a shame. There’s a trend in Canadian poetry to envelope emotions in extended metaphors until you wouldn’t recognize it anymore, a trend to which Obscura offers an alternative."
Magazine Spirale | "Ashley Obscura manages to enrapture the spiritual quest and psychedelic sensuality in a realistic Montreal rooted in contemporary times... (O)ne of the best poets in Quebec today."
Savoir Care | "Ambient Technology is a book of moods, a book of ways, a book about waves. Obscura does not obscure her anguish or loss. If anything, you'll find you feel like she's talking just to you. Having a body is a scam. I felt that. But renewal awaits. This collection evokes the power of cookies from Subway, the secret lives of plants, and love above all else."