Ashley Mae Hoiland

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Ashley Mae Christensen Hoiland graduated from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in studio arts. She continued her studies at BYU and completed an MFA in creative writing in 2011.

In 2012 Hoiland participated in the Billboard Poetry Project. Professor Daniel Barney, along with other members of his committee, held a call for local writers to submit poems to be considered for display on three consecutive billboards. The poems could be no longer than ten lines and had to incorporate or address some aspect of Utah's landscape, culture, or history. When the submission deadline passed, over 75 poems were read and reviewed by a small committee of BYU graduate Creative Writing students and a poem was selected to be featured: Small Prayer by Derek Henderson.

The collaboration committee also advertised and hosted six free workshops put on by local artists and writers, including one by Hoiland. The main purpose of the project and of these workshops was to bring poetry and art into the community. Another motivation was to advertise something positive to the passersby on the highway. Too often, people in general are exposed to only negative advertisements. A hope of this project was to offer some much-needed change to the world of billboard advertising.

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In addition to the workshops, Dr. Barney and Hoiland, as the main student collaborator, wrote articles about the project which were accepted, through a blind-peer-review process, into two top scholarly journals. The project was also accepted in an international scholarly conference focusing on art and education.

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