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 available from Plan B Press.

Emily's second chapbook, Conversations with Beethoven and Bach, is available through

She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, pet parent, data processor and adjunct English instructor.

Friday, June 19, 2015

End of the Road? or just the beginning?

Well, we’re approaching our final week with our portfolios and eagerly awaiting decisions. I, for one, am thrilled to have submitted my thesis collection before the due-date, because minimal editing can be churned out in an afternoon or weekend. That said, if it does happen that my portfolio isn’t quite finished, then I will take the extra time to focus on the problem areas and find how to fix them.
This journey toward my MFA started about eight years ago when I started a program at MN State University Moorhead - but life interfered and I had to take a step back. When I was ready to return, the MFA program was being closed down so I chose the online route.
It took a long time for me to adjust to the online format, life happened and interfered every quarter for that first year - but then I realized that I wanted this, dammit, and I was going to achieve it. So I came back and persevered, walked at Commencement and finished my thesis.
I wish there had been a week-long intensive residency on campus, or something like that, so we could really dive in and be surrounded for a week with our work, with feedback and learning one-on-one with instructors and each other, I think that would have helped me maintain my focus in that first year where I was just lost and randomly hopping from idea to idea, goal to goal, journey to journey. Perhaps had there been a required one-week summer intensive, which would have helped me dive in with both feet the first time, instead of tickling the water’s edge with my toes.
Thank you to all the instructors who challenged me, to my comrades for encouraging me, and especially to Eve Jones for teaching me how to critique like a maniac. Dr. Rankovic, thank you for helping me find my CNF voice, delving deeper into my memories and passions and helping me see that I need to express my imperfections in order to be taken seriously as an expert. As you once said, "nobody’s perfect, and that is coming across as almost saintly."
Thank you, to my family and friends for sticking with me through this journey to realize that this is who I am. This is what I love to do. I love to create works that say something, not just on the surface, but pieces that make people think about the darkness within themselves, and hopefully see a little bit of light inside as well. It’s there, we just have to want to see it (that’s the optimist in me).
All the best to my colleagues, classmates and instructors.
Here’s to good writing.

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