“Reading Ashley Farmer’s The Women is like reading a cubist painting. These scavenged voices collide, contradict, entertain, horrify, and surprise as they create a dizzying and complex conversation about what it means to be a woman at this particular moment in time. In poems that are by turns witty, beautiful, and moving, Farmer investigates the disturbing chasm between how women are seen and how they see themselves. Even as she unapologetically documents the power that systemic oppression has over our daily lives, her women emerge as brave, hungry, and resilient. The Women simultaneously made my blood boil and made me feel less alone.”
–Megan Martin, author of Nevers
"Ashley Farmer's The Women unearths the disgusting sludge in language via Google / via thinking. It arranges that sludge into poetry / exposes it / plays with it / works with its brutality. What happens / what continues to happen when language gets close to the varied, ever expanding lives of bodies that identify as women? What to do with that pain / the wound of continuing to be told, via suffocating / sickening pinch, who you are and what you deserve? 'Have you heard the joke / about how women are like volcanoes: / calm before exploding / and killing everything?' It never stops being difficult to continue to face how small we imagine each other to be. But we must keep doing it. The Women by Ashley Farmer insists that we do it / for ourselves / for each other / for bodies and lives and futures we have yet to believe in." -Carrie Lorig, author of The Pulp vs. The Throne
The Farmacist Step inside Ashley Farmer's America: a dizzying digital-agrarian-fever-dream fueled by virtual farmers plowing fallow fields for fake coins into the afterglow of evening, where Jesus Christ returns as a fallen satellite and the ghost of Ted Kennedy gets drunk on the lawn. In this wildly unconventional fictional universe, Farmer situates us at the intersections of work and play, the real and the imagined, the rural and the urban.THE FARMACIST is a hilariously heartbreaking romp through the cybernetic fields and streams and over to the imitation inns and taverns and on into your own neighborhood where the empire ends at the end of your street.
Ashley Farmer’s The Farmicist, a meditation on the Facebook game, Farm Town, explores the realm where the “real” world buffets the imagination, and the conscious mind courts the subconscious iterations of desire and distraction. It investigates the liminal space between log on and log off, between rural and urban. Whip smart and empathetic, The Farmicist is fiction crashing the lyric’s slumber party, a reified shibboleth for the age of social media, all of it rendered beautifully, the poet’s ear and the proser’s eye working together to encapsulate and expound. Using the digital farm as a metaphor for the incredible shrinking American dream, Farmer gives her reader the rare experience of understanding human ambitions and aspirations as both futile and necessary. Don’t ignore the invitation.
-Christopher Kennedy, Encouragement For a Man Falling To His Death
It’s rare to find bursts of prose so laden with the fruit of meaning: city and country, solitude and sociality, leisure and labor all get grafted together into a novel tree of Ashley Farmer’s making. This book is often stunning in its vision of western life, the internet, and alienation—as she writes for us, “These dreams aren’t even mine—I just idle in them.”
–Ken Baumann, author of EarthBound
The Farmacist cultivates survival, nostalgia, and community through surreal verve and melancholy tenderness. Splendid panoramas, ambitious toiling, flickers of Americana, a shared dream; Ashley Farmer illuminates the digital pastorals we rove and roam to connect, the vast pulsing heartlands we carry inside us.
A girl drinks river water that gives her good advice but a bad reputation. A young woman's job at a make-up counter ends in disaster. Car accidents and cornfields cause siblings to disappear while, up above, airplane banners advertise hair care products. Welcome to Beside Myself, Ashley Farmer's debut collection of short stories. These brief, lucid dreams illuminate the moment the familiar becomes strange and that split second before everything changes forever.
"Her work is reminiscent of Aimee Bender, Sheila Heti, and Aurelie Sheehan..."
"These stories are unlike any flash I have ever read. They have the conviction of Lydia Davis shorts (rarely can an author pull off flash so short) and a linguistic inventiveness equal to that of Diane Williams. They are not fables. To me, they don’t seem quite like dreams, either. They are conscious fantasies, the kind you want to slip into when you are wide awake, reading. You will want to ration and reread these stories, giving each one a chance to settle and resettle in your mind. Reading these stories is like driving past a stranger’s window and imagining the lives behind it. They are perfect and exhilarating, filled with the promise of the impossible." -Sadye Teiser, The Masters Review
Farm Town Illustrated chapbook collaboration with artist Meredith Lynn from Rust Belt Bindery (2012) Available here