Note from the Featured Artist: Ashley Trabue

I have always viewed visual art and poetry as two sides of the same coin, and in my creative process, I find it helpful to allow one to inform the other. Perhaps because of this, the process of pairing poems from this issue of Rockvale Review to my artwork felt intuitive.

I will admit that, at first, the compulsive creator within me was hellbent on making new art in response to each poem, but I found this commitment ultimately over-complicated. These new artworks came out too literal in interpretation, so I pivoted.

I have a fairly extensive body of work, so I cataloged 75 of my favorite recent pieces and limited myself to selecting artwork from that catalog. With that constraint, the process flowed more naturally. I would read a poem several times, then jump to the catalogue of artwork, sifting through pieces until one jumped out in conversation.  On a few occasions, the art was immediately apparent, and in this way, the pairings came swiftly and with the same amount of effort as carrying on a conversation with a friend.

Ashley Trabue is an artist, poet, and author of the chapbook, Vertebrae. Her artwork has appeared in juried exhibitions, literary magazines, brand campaigns, on the runway, and is held in private collections around the world. You can follow along and purchase her work online at or on Instagram @ashleytrabue