Ash Winters is an emerging Toronto-based poet. Queer and sober, their work navigates the intersections of addiction, identity, and trauma. Growing up queer in small town Ontario gave Ash a chance to develop a lavish sense of humour and a deep respect for empathy both of which come through in their work. They graduated with their BA in English from Lakehead University in 2010. Their poetry has recently appeared in; Existere, Open Minds Quarterly, and The White Wall Review. Run Riot is Winter’s first book of poetry it came out with Caitlin Press in winter 2021.
“This is a weird place to wake up / For someone who has woken up in some pretty strange places before.” With one poem written each day during Ash Winters’ ninety-day stay at a Vancouver rehab centre, Run Riot is a fiercely personal account of what it feels like to stop drinking after a decade of excess. Run Riot takes the reader through moments of determination, anger, hilarity, and heartbreak. Winters’ frank portrayal of early sobriety offers companionship to those who know it well and insight for those that want to know it better. Weaving the past and the present together with ruthless vulnerability, Run Riot is a powerful portrait of one person’s struggle against addiction, laying bare an honest search to heal and better understand one’s self.