Bio

Emily Vieweg, MFA is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Northern Eclecta, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young's Good Morning, and more. Her one-act play Atomic Lounge was performed in Chicago at the 25th Annual Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Theatre Festival in 2013. Emily's debut chapbook Look Where She Points is forthcoming from Plan B Press. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, pet parent, data processor and adjunct English instructor.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Look Where She Points (a chapbook) - Looking Forward and Back.

Greetings, friends...

First, the chapbook....


She is at the printer. This is real. Here's the cover art.
Pretty cool, right? I even like the fact that it has a young energy about it - the pencil drawing, the angelic face...  I wonder what she's point at.



Second...





I came across The Basil O'Flaherty website randomly on a creative submissions group on Facebook.
The Basil O' has published my title poem "Look Where She Points" and another poem in the chapbook, "Vessel."
I am all about finding the unheard voice, especially the voice within ourselves. The Basil O' helped me realize my Feminist Voice


Third....
Last night I received an email from The Basil O' regarding the Feminist Voices Interview I completed a few days earlier. I like to take my time answering questions thoughtfully, respectfully, honestly and succinctly.

I never thought of myself as a feminist, I suppose that's why this is all so intriguing to me. Even after my Psychology of Women class, when I realized that I didn't know who I was as a woman - because in my family it wasn't about growing up to be a good woman. My sister and I were raised to be good, productive people. For a while I was the "girlie girl" and my sister was the "tomboy" but eventually I got tired of the dresses and patent-leather uniform shoes and changed it up to jeans and t-shirts. Sure, I like to get dressed up, but only if I am in the mood and feel like putting that much effort into my appearance -- usually I don't.



Looking back at my childhood, I was so happy, so sheltered from the nastiness of the "real world."
I was shy, an observer, a quiet girl on the sidelines. It seemed like whenever I tried to make my voice known (to teachers, other kids, etc), I either said the wrong thing or teased (moreso in public school than in catholic school).
I was so afraid of disappointing someone - anyone! I was definitely a people-pleaser. I wanted to keep the peace, avoid conflict on any level... but eventually the stress would build up and something would trigger an explosion. I would let it all out - how scared I was about what other people thought of me, how angry I was about what the neighborhood kids did to me on the bus, how I am teased because I was the "teacher's pet" and that I had a big nose.

I am forty years old now with two children.





My son is 17 and in his senior year of high school. CJ has worked through his Autism Spectrum Disorder and is doing well.

There have been some hiccups this year, particularly with writing assignments.

Last night I think he found his writing voice again.
Keep it up - your words are your ticket.



My daughter is 3 1/2 and has a host of issues - dietary, behavioral, communication - all under the umbrella of her chromosome "one q twenty-one point one" (1q21.1) microdeletion. She's a fighter, to be sure. She is very "three-nager" right now.


Listening to my two kids argue in the car is a hoot.
"Stop touching me!"
"NO brother, you stop!"
"Leave me alone, Tink."
"Give-itta me!"
I found myself wondering what universe I was in... a 17 year old and a 3 year old speaking the same exact language to each other... I just had to giggle.




and now I write.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tupelo Press 30/30 Project - 30 poems in 30 days...

Hello, my friends and followers.

For the past week or so I have been participating in the 30/30 project with Tupelo Press. This is an intense creative endeavor, writing 30 poems in 30 days. I am doing my best to keep the creative juices flowing, but as you know, life happens - so this week I am going to write more than one piece per day, I am going to attempt to write TWO!  (crazy, right?)

This amazing project is similar to NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month - April) and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month - November), where poets write 30 poems or a full novel in 30 days.



About the 30/30 Project

Tupelo Press selects a group of poets to write a poem each day in a given month. These poems are published on the 30/30 blog. This project has two reasons for existing:
1) To support poetry and the literary arts
2) To raise funds for a small nonprofit literary press.
Tupelo Press is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary press - check them out here.

Fundraising Goals
I write short poetry. I say as much as possible in as few words as possible. Hopefully painting a picture of a scene and describing it in such a way that the meaning is unmistakable. 
My fundraising goal for this project is $350.00. 

Already family and friends have donated $100 towards my goal, and I am so very grateful for that. For me this isn't about the money, it's about promoting what I love to do - writing. Expressing myself through words that are sometimes difficult to come by in the moment, but after reflection, can develop into a snapshot of life.

If you cannot support the project financially, that is okay! Stop by the 30/30 blog every day to read new poems.

Thank you for all the love, guidance and support.

Emily

@EmilyJVieweg

In partnership with Tupelo Press 30/30

Friday, October 7, 2016

"Trial" - 1956 - Conrad Marca-Relle

"Trial" - 1956 - Conrad Marca-Relle
Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), September 2016

What follows below is auto-writing from my visit to the MIA in September. I was drawn to this piece and it did not want to let me go. I spent half the day standing and sitting in this room - this photo is me. I didn't know my boyfriend was taking pictures, so you probably see my head cocked to the side, as if I'm trying to figure something out...  You're right. I'm still trying to figure it out...

You'll notice some *** in a few of the words - that doesn't mean swear words, that means "crap I was writing way too fast and now I don't know what that word is!!!"

The original message is white on black -
but the people 
- the cover ups - the letters
scrawled within the ***trals are 
screaming to get out
searching for a clear message I find none.
There is something here beneath the canvas
overlays - yelling to me to find and free it.




Light and shadow canvas on black on white
Justice is hidden behind filters - my truth is
not your truth but it is still truth

and now I sit on the museum floor - perplexed
by this being - this trial in front of me - 

What is it saying?
That justice and law and experiments are
clouded by our filters 
How innocence is not
objective but subjective depending on the crime or
offense or indignity thrust upon me - and
it is my job to find  meaning behind the
paint - behind the mask - behind the canvas - 

behind the makeup - the fingerprints - the
strategically placed brush strokes - 

I wonder what glue holds this together - 
this melding of the materials - 

A hand is reaching out to me and I cannot
see it but I feel it - there is no doubt - 

my purpose is to free 
the message displayed
here

so I sit - soaking in
the images - ignoring 
the footsteps and 
coughing security guard
and just be in the
presence of this work ---

They're faces - 
a hundred faces pleading
their case - Quiet eyes
peering through the
shards of canvas --

Pray
Sharp

Do they see what I see - 
Do I want to know what
is really there? Do I ...

I keep coming back to the 
message in the canvas - 
maybe if I sit closer
I will see more
or maybe not

Faces / pain / beaks / bodies 
words are painted beneath
the canvas and between 
and over and under

Fragmented canvas
Fingerprints are not a mistake

I sit to the left for a 
new perspective - 

ART / STRING / SPRING

What are we guilty of except pleasure and what kind
of trial is this?

A man in uniform ~~ clergy?
pursed lips
I am

Picasso-esque tears
dog barking lower right
death whispering to a
downed polar bear - 
bottom right - a FACE
A phallus
a bowed head
bottom center - person reclining
2 in bed

am i reading into this?
Do i care?

I am seeing faces 
everywhere - bodies
hunched in agony or
desire

looking behind the letters 
and into the canvas - between
the visible and into the 
subjective - as guilt or
innocence and be seen -- 

I was right to change my
perspective and glad I
do not force myself 
onto a sofa or chair

I still see words and
letters... trying to look
through them -- 

I don't care that they are
whispering or about whom
they are ss-ss-ss-ss-ing

Scooting closer
A sharper angle

fewer words - more 
abstract bodies contortioning
through the canvas pieces

and i don't know why this
touches me - so many
messages in this one work -- 

another new scene -- 
from the right --

swords / battles / bodies
why do i see these things

eyes just appeared
blinked then
dissipated

I hope this is all intentional
because otherwise my found 
meaning is laughable - 

shadows light canvas
wood oil black white
mixed brush stroke drip
dribble Forgotten

why were these choices made

what did it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Go Fund Me - Post-MFA Creative Writing Teaching Certificate - RESIDENCY



Hello!

I am thrilled to say that I have been accepted into the Post-MFA Creative Writing Teaching Certificate program at Antioch University in Los Angeles! 

This is a low-residency program, meaning that I only have to be on campus twice in a year for ten days. I have applied for financial aid and scholarships, and have been offered a Fellowship for tuition! I am looking for help to fund travel to LA. 

I've already reached out to couchsurfing.com and airbnb locations for lodging, so that will hopefully be taken care of on my own - what I need help with is airfare. 

If I book today, the lowest price is about $350 round trip from Fargo, ND to Los Angeles, CA. (I've never been to LA!) So I'm not sure what the airfare will be like when I actually book on November 1.

If everyone who sees this donates one dollar ($1.00), I will be able to fund the travel to California. One dollar from each of my contacts is all I need - will you help me get there? 

The Post-MFA Teaching Certificate program is going to help me learn how to effectively teach Creative Writing and English Composition classes at the college level. 
I have found my passion in teaching, now I need to learn how to do it! 

 If I am unable to raise at least $500 before October 31, 2016, I will cancel the campaign and refund all donations - so there's no risk. 

 Thank you so much for helping me achieve my dream of teaching the next generation of writers.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A white voice has something to say about privilege.

My children were born white, so they have privilege. It was not my predetermined intention to bring white children into the world, it just so happens that my children are white because their fathers are also white.
Race has never been a required concern for me, and for that I apologize. I apologize for not realizing that race does matter. I was raised to treat everyone with respect, regardless of race or color or religion. So in that sense, a person's humanity is what I base a friendship on - the idea of race or color as a qualification for friendship was not on my list of requirements.
I do not know the fears a family shares with their blackness or brownness, because I was born white.
I do not have to fear for my son's well-being driving in the "good" part of town wearing a hoodie, because he is white.
I do not understand the struggles of my brothers and sisters of color - and I do not pretend to understand. Theirs is a struggle for equality that has been in process for generations.
My struggle for equality is different.
I am a woman.
I am a white woman.
I am a white LGBTQ woman.
The difference between myself and others is that I can hide my difference and jump back into the closet any time I want/need to. I am lucky.
I am a mother first. When that teenager was sobbing over the death of his father, all I wanted to do was dive through that television and comfort him, because I saw a child. A grieving child who now holds fear in his heart about the people who are supposed to protect us...
Protect US - ALL OF US... Not just white us.
A personal note to Cameron Sterling:
Dear Cameron,
Please, child, please know that I am mourning with you - I am crying with you. I do not know you, but I love you. I wish there was something we could do to bring your father back and this was all just a bad dream... I wish. We cannot do anything to bring him back, and I am so desperately sorry for your loss. Your loss is irrefutably unfair.

For what it's worth, my heart is with you, your family, your mother, and your community. 
Do not try to be strong right now.
Weep, mourn, and surround yourself with people who love you and who can be strong for you.
There are hundreds of thousands of us, mourning your loss.
I wish for peace in your heart, sweet boy.
All my thoughts, heart and love to you during this time and forever more,
Emily Vieweg, Mother of Two, Fargo, ND.
I am so afraid of where this all could go. So afraid that this civil war that has been brewing for generations will implode and consume us as a civilization.
I never imagined that my children would have to live in a world full of hatred and fear. Granted, my children, being white, do not fear the same people that their friends of color fear. I hope I can teach my children to use their privilege to help communicate the injustices of this world - to use their privilege not to holler their own needs - but the needs of other voices that must be heard.
I fear for us. I fear for the families of everyone gunned in recent days, months and years. I fear for the children of law enforcement who will now be targeted just because of their parent's profession. I have friends and family on both sides of this issue. I have cousins and their children who are multi-racial. I have friends who put on a uniform and badge every day. Honest, lawful officers who want to keep citizens safe. So who do I choose to support? My black cousins or my officer friends? Perhaps my naivete is the reason I believe it is possible to choose both.
Just because I love my black family members does not mean I disregard the lives of officers lost. Just because I mourn for my police officer friends does not mean that I disrespect the lives of my black cousins.
Hopefully we can work together to heal the pain - but I don't know if it will happen in my lifetime...
I am so afraid for all of our children.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hate is a Disease

Hate stems from fear, which stems from misunderstanding which stems from miscommunication which stems from not listening which stems from not being heard yourself.... which stems from fear...

I am afraid of the future in a country with Trump in the White House.
While I am afraid, I do not hate him - I despise his tactics, his views, his opinions - but I do not hate the man - I do not know the man...

Hate is a disease.

Many diseases spread through interaction with others. Hate spreads not just through speech, but also through actions.

Hate is a lack of communication.

Communication is two-way. One person speaks, the other listens, and if he does not understand, must ask questions in order to understand.

Hate is a lack of understanding.

Not just the lack of understanding, but the lack of the desire to understand. The lack of the desire to understand stems from fear... of being misunderstood, or just walked over.

All behavior is communication.

Life is full of communication, of fear, of doubt, of anger and frustration - people are angry, and anger is healthy, it means that people have voices and want to share them. The problem comes with the messages spewed because of anger - because of the frustration, and because of the pain someone has in his or her heart.

I have anger towards intolerance and injustice. I have anger towards those people who hold hatred in their hearts instead of listening and asking questions. We cannot help each other by screaming and yelling the loudest - no one can hear anyone else if everyone is screaming - understanding only comes from listening.
Unfortunately, not everyone wants to understand. I suppose I am naive, or maybe just a wishful thinker - but our future is in our own hands. I am a single mother of two children - both of whom would be considered "losers" by one of the candidates for President of the United States - simply because they were born having special needs.
My children are my world - and when someone in search for power is demeaning to my children and people like my children, I not only become angry, I become sad. I am alive because of my children. My children make me who I am, and I'll be damned if someone tells me they are not worth the air they breathe - just because they were born different.

If people in power do not listen to the public, we will not survive as a society. The USA is a laughingstock across the world. The way we are allowing our leaders to treat us is demented. Some of us are speaking out and trying to fight - but the only way to fight hatred is with love - but hate pays better. That's why hate wins.

This is shameful. What are we teaching our children by allowing the media to spin reports? When did reporting the truth become more difficult? Do people even care about the truth anymore? I doubt it - look at the popular TV these days - the days of the family sitcom have been replaced by scripted "reality" tv. These people are teaching our children that fake is better than real... that being someone else is better than being yourself... that being beautiful on the outside will get you anything you want - especially attention.

I fear for my children. My son is finishing his junior year in high school and I fear for his adulthood. My daughter is entering preschool and I fear for her childhood. I can only protect them for so long, soon they will be online and pursued by hateful individuals and stalked by celebrity and the idea of being popular...

My optimism is still there - I hope for a better future for my children, but right now I am just afraid - afraid that we are making futures impossible for our children. I do not want to have to teach my children to fear before trusting...  I miss the innocence of my childhood. I wish my children could live in that time. A time when guns in school were not the norm - a time when being called to Room 202 to pick up your detention slip was not a positive - a time when kids talked to each other instead of texted...  we have done this to our children... we have made it possible for our children to become plugged in...

I suppose I've rambled on enough.

Hate is a disease - it is contagious - it is dangerous - and it is here, all around us. Shoved down our throat with words, but more so with actions.
Fight Hate.
Embrace Care.
Embrace Concern.
Embrace Communication.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Desire for Nothing

I am struggling to find time to write, even though I have so many ideas scrambling through my head, I need some spare time to sit and just be quiet and write.
Then I find myself watching another episode of CSI Miami and it's almost 1am but I just can't seem to relax enough to go upstairs for bed.
We've been in the new house for a couple weeks now but it's still so new - still not "home" yet. Moving twice in six months - first from my shared apartment to my parents' house - then from my parents' house to my new rental home...
The kids are adjusting fine - it's me that has issues.

This is supposed to be my blog about writing - but since my work is inspired by real-life moments and feelings, this post fits.

Lounging on my new-to-me sofa last night I just kept watching TV. I wanted to move, wanted to get up and create something - but my desire for nothing overcame that.

A Desire For Nothing.
Good title.