Tonya Ingram


Tonya Ingram is a poet, Cincinnati native, Bronx-bred introvert, mental health advocate, kidney transplant hopeful, Lupus legend, cat auntie, and lover of Tom Hardy and “The Office.” Tonya has graced the stages of The Getty Museum, Madison Square Garden, San Francisco Opera House, Nuyorican Poets Café, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lexus Verses and Flow’s variety show, and “The Price is Right*,” the online and physical pages of The New York Times, Vice i-D, Bustle, and Marie Claire, and the classrooms of schools in the United States and Ghana, just to name a few. her viral collaboration with BuzzFeed, “An Open Letter to My Depression,” has reached over 4 million views and counting. A friend, creative, daydreamer, and Virgo, Tonya’s writing explores the necessity in taking care of ourselves, especially on the days we feel unworthy. She is a graduate of New York University and Otis College of Art and Design. Tonya currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. HOW TO SURVIVE TODAY is her third book of poetry. Source

When The Lights Go Down

First of all, you talk white. Second off, you talk

like you haven’t given up yet. -Childish Gambino


If you woke up this morning feeling ___, know

that it is okay to take time for yourself. If you woke

up being called out of your name, reclaim who you

are. If you find yourself not wanting to leave your

bed, make a cup of hot tea and watch your favorite

television show. If you feel alone, that is okay too.

But before the day is done, call someone for two

minutes or for two hours. We can’t get through

this without you. You, whose heart is constantly

sinking. You don’t have to ‘get it together’ right

now. It is okay to be the ugliest cry in the room.

To sit and be confused. I write this to you, dear

friends, because today is abnormal. It is coffee

thrown against the wall. An poised mourning. Just

know, wherever you are and whenever you read

this, I thought of you and said to myself, “me too,

friend. me too.”






Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Mental Health

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic