A.S. Minor

I am originally from New York, but moved to Florida many years ago. I had a very tumultuous upbringing resulting in me moving out when I was 15, and joining the Army when I was 17 years old, where I worked as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist (assisting with autopsies of fallen soldiers, participating in funeral ceremonies, as well as processing their personal effects and sending them back to the families). I dealt with mental health issues prior to my military service (though I wasn’t aware while growing up), but my issues gained from my service greatly exacerbated what was already there. Ultimately, I deal with Bipolar 2, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD, amongst others. I’ve been out of the military for 10 years, and still struggle with my issues, through medication and therapy has helped. I’ve always been a writer, and I discovered that writing about my own issues (through spoken word poetry, essays, short stories, and novels) helped me tremendously, but when I stepped on the spoken word poetry stage under the name A.S. Minor I found that my writing/performing helped others, as well. The more that people approached me, or emailed me, about my work, the more I realized my calling, which is to use my own experiences to help others not feel so alone. Together with my veteran performance poetry group, The Combat Hippies, I began traveling across the state doing stage performances (including a TEDx Talk), guest speakings (including at VA hospitals), and other venues. However, due to the nature of the group (we’re 4 military veterans), we tend to attract a larger military/veteran population, and since I’ve dealt with mental health issues outside of my service experience I wanted to reach out to non military-related audiences as well, so I started venturing out as a solo artist. I still perform with The Combat Hippies, but as a solo artist I found that doors opened in different venues, as well, so I began travelling to do my solo performances out-of-state, including spoken word competitions on the state, regional, and national levels, as far west as Kentucky, and as far north as Maryland, and speaking engagements on mental health awareness in venues such as grade schools, colleges, and staged fundraisers, amongst others. At this point, I have dozens of videos on my YouTube channel, my most successful being a piece called, “You Are Not Alone,” with has over 10,000 views.