I’m an academic librarian and poet in Memphis, TN. 

I’ve published poems in excellent journals and participated in the lit world in many ways. I coordinated and hosted the Impossible Language reading series in Memphis, TN from 2013 to 2017. On a good day, I’m working on a full-length book of poems. On any other day, I’m critiquing genre norms by watching a lot of tv.

I’m a reader for Tinderbox Poetry Journal and an Editor of Just Place. Please submit some: Just Place.


Publications & Noteworthy

books & chapbooks

Bright Along the Body, chapbook, Dancing Girl Press, 2017


Cover art and design by April Pierce.

published & forthcoming poems

Screen Door Review: “Every Day is Work,” “Risk Tolerance Assessment Logic,” “The End of the World

Just Place: “Pelahatchie Bay,” “Midtown Lockdown

Heavy Feather Review: “Our Poetica”

Dialogist: “Erasure

Southern Women’s Review“Reckoning for a Body,” “Undone Light”

Yemassee: “Say anything but,” “Hunger Strike” 

Poet Lore: “To the Early 2000’s Internet, for Introducing Me to a Violator,” “National Trauma”

Doubleback Review: “If there is a place for bodies to be safe” (reprint from Public Pool, now defunct)

Scalawag: “Dear Sam

Fugue: On the Whole

The Boiler: “Reflection on When I Heard You Were Sober,” “Judith Beheading Holofernes

Rogue Agent: “Ekphrasis

Ghost Proposal: Woman Found Chained in Metal Container,” (with Emma Bolden)

Nightjar Review: The New Year” (Nominated for Best of the Net)

The Fem: In the Event of Conception

About Place, SOUTH Issue: “Memphis Hustle III

Watershed Review: The Barn,” “To My Husband

Public Pool (defunct): “If there is a place for bodies to be safe,” “Woman in Bathroom”

The Literary Review: Blessing for the Use of New Houses

Heron Tree: Advice I Would Have Given Myself, If I Had Known” 

Noble / Gas Qtrly: Poem That Can’t Be Another Poem,” “Poem Taking Advantage of Tennessee,” “Poem with an Open Window,” “Memphis Hustle I” 

Bear Review 2.2: “Self-Portrait with Arson,” “Self-Portrait with Fur”

Bone Bouquet“Transition, with Bells and Leaves”

Academy of American Poets: “what you have left” / featured on Chapter 16

Superstition Review: “Seven of Swords, Reversed,” “sorry about the poem with feathers”

burntdistrict“Green Tongue,” “Something the Previous Owners Never Told Us”

Squaw Valley Review“Text Message Photographs”

Smartish Pace : “Third Summer,” “I’m From Nowhere”

Tinderbox Poetry Journal: Rabbit Fever,” “Wildflowers Poetica

District Lit: what the bed thinks about is the unswept floor” (Nominated for a Pushcart Prize)

Rock & Sling“Red Bird Elegy,” “Poem with a Line by Andrew Freiman”

Midway Journal: Twin Cell

THRUSH Poetry Journal: Starlings

Dunes Review“Suffer Cure”

other writing

Review / My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, by Jenn Shapland: College & Research Libraries

Guest Blog, Superstition Review: The Privilege and Anxiety of Catharsis

Review / Stranger, by Adam Clay: Memphis Flyer

Memphis Scene Report (w/Danian Jerry): realpants.com


Catching Up with Ashley Roach-Freiman, Tinderbox Poetry Journal

Workshop: Risk and Restraint: Writing Poems Out of Vulnerability, Southern Literary Festival

Guest: Classroom visiting poet, 8th grade English, Power Center Academy

Writer in Residence: Crosstown Residency Program (watch my Pecha Kucha)

Judge – Poetry Contest: Chrysalis, the literary and arts magazine of Ferrum College in Virginia

Featured: Nightjar Review

Featured: The Dean’s List on Make Memphis blog

Writer in Residence: Firefly Farms, Sundress Academy for the Arts

Collaborating Artist: Words Matter, Crosstown Arts

Contributor interview (w/ editor Rebekah Bresee): Rock & Sling blog

Squaw Valley Community of Writers poetry workshop participant, 2014

coordinator / host

Impossible Language Reading Series, 2013 to 2017


The Pinch Literary Journal – 2014 – 2016

Managing Editor – Issue 36.1

Assistant Managing Editor – Issue 35.2

Senior Poetry Editor – Issue 35.1

Senior Poetry Editor / Art Editor – Issue 34.2


I bring my background in poetry writing to instruction and librarianship, creative energy that allows me to design engaging, informed, and user-friendly curriculum. I believe in working with students’ innate curiosity and use backward design, universal design for learning (UDL), the philosophy of critical librarianship, and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy to make lesson plans to meet all students where they learn. I deeply love my job.


James E. Ward Instruction Award – Tennessee Library Association, 2018


BEAM Me Up: Teaching Rhetorical Methods for Source Use and SynthesisCommunications in Information Literacy 15:2

Librarianship as Mothering and Other Cries for Help” – The League of Awesome Librarians/ The Library Collective

Square Peg, Round Hole: Big Picture Planning and the Opportunities and Limits of Design Thinking” – The Journal of Creative Library Practice

Opening Our Minds: Two Early Career Librarians.  Two Roundtables.  Where To From Here?” (w/ Joseph Winberry) – Tennessee Libraries 69.2

Conference Presentations

“BEAM Me Up: Considering Usefulness for Source Synthesis” – Library Instruction Tennessee (LIT) conference,  2019

“Opening Our Minds: Two Early Career Librarians. Two Roundtables. Where To From Here?” – with Joseph Winberry, Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference, 2019

“Stand and Be Counted: Libraries Facilitating Voter Engagement” – Panelist, with Holly Hebert, Kevin Dixon, Pamela Johnson, Chris Hall, & Amber McKee, Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference, 2019

“NEDtalks: Lightning Talks in the Library” – with Brannen Varner, Tennessee Library Association Conference, 2018

“Making It Work Online: Collaborating to Create an Online Information Literacy Portal” – with Brannen Varner, Tennessee Library Association Conference, 2018

“Use Your Words: Thing-Explaining Library Lingo” – with Brannen Varner, The Collective, 2018

“Looking for the Picture in the Frame: The ACRL Framework in Practical Library Instruction” – with Sylvia Page and Becca Decker, Tennessee Library Association Conference, 2017


Library Instruction Together (LIT), Steering Committee member

Tennessee Libraries, Editor

See my LinkedIn profile here.

ashley teaching

Get in Touch

Email / ashleymroach (at) gmail (dot) com


News & Events


Violator was longlisted for the 2022 Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize!

Violator was a finalist in the 2021 Birdcoat Quarterly Ghost Peach Press Prize!

Violator was named a semi-finalist in the 2019 St. Lawrence Book Award from Black Lawrence Press!


If you want to host or read with me, contact me at ashleymroach (at) gmail (dot) com

Past Readings & Workshops

Reading with Erin Slaughter at Novel for the launch of I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun

2019 Southern Literary Festival: Risk and Restraint: Writing Poems Out of Vulnerability Workshop

Center for Writers Literary Salon: w/ Emma Bolden

Open Mouth Poetry Festival Pre-Festival Feature (in collaboration with True Lit Fest): w/Emma Bolden

Impossible Language Reading Series relaunch

Crosstown Arts Residency Pecha Kucha

Writers Resist

Open Mouth Poetry Festival: w/ Caitlin Scarano 

Sundress Reading Series: w/ Heather Dobbins and Christian Anton Gerard

Third Man Books: w/ Kendra DeColo, Tara Mae Mulroy, and Sheree Renée Thomas

Trobar Ric reading series w/ Maggie Woodward, Chris Hosea, & Douglas Piccinnini)

Ruby Slipper Fringe Fest: The Memphis Lyrics w/ Heather Dobbins

Open Mouth Reading Series: w/ Aaron Brame

Turn Row Book Co.: w/ Michael Morse & Richard Boada

Mid-South Book Festival: Student Workshop Wrap-Up

Bastet Quartet Reading Series

AWP Seattle: Off-site reading with The Pinch