poet. pinay. queer. educator. agent of change.
lenses: love. gratitude. sustainability. freedom.
O. Ayes pursued English, biology, writing, and gender studies from Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. As a graduate assistant in student affairs, she focused on women’s event programming, receiving a Women Trailblazers Award in 2007. She also served as Managing Editor for an internationally-distributed literary journal, Natural Bridge. Her poems appear in Five Quarterly, Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. She has worked with several nonprofits focused on literacy and advocacy, such as Global Village Association, Urban Artist Alliance for Child Development, StudioSTL, Lavender Lotus, and Eos Visions, which facilitates educational and professional capacity-building partnerships in East Africa. She previously served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the St. Louis LGBT Community Center (2009-2010) ) and Founding Treasurer for The Mama Project (2012-2013), which promotes women’s literacy in developing countries. She is a writer, educator, and editor who has lectured at colleges and universities in the St. Louis area, as well as City University of New York. She currently teaches at an international school in Tanzania.