Bebe Ashley

Bebe Ashley

“Give Me a Lifetime of Promises”

Bonnie Tyler (1988)

The arts administrators are getting out of control!
It is a late night of funding applications when
I’m asked to write 300 words on why I write poetry.

I didn’t have a problem with the equality and diversity
monitoring questionnaire but they must know they’re asking
for an impossible answer to an impossible question.

On my second coffee, I argue with myself in two paragraphs.
I’m not sure if writing poetry will make me a better interpreter
or if learning to become an interpreter makes me write better poetry.

My answer becomes a poem becomes a pitch becomes
their DEEP REGRET and I’m happy for the people on the shortlist.
I just want to know whether they want buzzwords or the truth.

BEBE ASHLEY lives in Belfast and is currently working on a collection of poetry that charts her progress towards qualifying as a British Sign Language interpreter. Gold Light Shining was published by Banshee Press in Oct. 2020.