Updated: Apr 9
Counter Collective's Slam Artillery
In a sea of t-shirt and jeans, this fashion-forward poet stands out. Though at first glance, one would assume Ashlee Connors is a model about to walk the runway when she walks to the mic the crowd is in for a stylish surprise. Beyond what you see, she knows what it's like to be broken, silenced, and not able to share. Through poetry, Ashlee has found the beauty in what she writes, speaks, and shares because she knows the power of her gift.
Ashlee credits her creative rhetoric to her various life experiences. She has inspired many by tapping into the emotional chambers of the heart and appealing to what the audience needs to hear. Authoring three books entitled "Pieces of Me," "Lessons in Discovery" and “Growing Pains,” she writes to encourage the masses.
Kimberly, "Dash", McLean grew up a military brat living a majority of her childhood in Fayetteville, NC. Her early days were spent being a tomboy - playing sports, playing video games and beating up neighborhood boys. She has always loved to write. Her acclimation towards writing began in middle school. She would write as an outlet to express the things she felt she couldn't express verbally. Her life changed drastically after graduating from high school. She was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease called Lupus. Writing was no longer a mere hobby, it became her lifeline. She learned how to turn pain into poetry, hurt into verses, and anger into acronyms. She considers her poetry as a ministry. She began attending open mic events in 2007. It was there that she began to call herself D-Termined. It was more than just a name. It was her motto for life. She has received many renditions of her stage name through the years from her fellow poets. She eventually began proclaiming herself simply as Dash, representative of the dash between life and death. She chooses to use her writing to focus on living. She has received several awards and accolades throughout her years of performing, finishing top 8 in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam three times. The message is always the same- never give up and always trust the process.