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 available from Plan B Press.

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

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Write and Author: Interview, and a few headshots

I cannot believe I waited so long to share my interview at Write and Author.
A hundred apologies for the delay and a thousand thank yous to @WriteandAuthor and @MrsAndiLutz for the opportunity to share.


A few highlights from the interview:

What inspires your poetry?
 Most of my poetry is inspired by "regular" life. I find beauty in the ordinary and the mundane.
 
The grunts my daughter makes in frustration as the legos don't fit together quite right. Memories of my son walking away from me the first time he entered kindergarten, wearing a button-up shirt and sweater vest "Just Like Papa." Or the squeal of glee from my daughter as she "flies" in the air from the trampoline.
 
My current project on Channillo is inspired by the classical music of Beethoven and Bach, however my life inspirations frequently make an appearance in the individual pieces.


What made you decide to write poetry?

 I have always written poetry and created stories from acquired knowledge (I wrote "The Truth About Santa Claus" when I was nine). I find that writing poetry is not only familiar, it is imperative to being me. I find myself thinking poetically on occasion, usually when I am in a difficult emotional situation and need to find the words to express my feelings. "Sad" or "Emotional" just are not descriptive; instead, I compare my maternal instinct to a tigress "hrumpf"ing for her cubs to take cover.

I don't think I ever made the decision to write poetry. I just did it.

~~~

A huge thank you to Nick Friesen, of Friesen Photography, for a fantastic photo shoot outside at Island Park in Fargo, ND.
Here are some of my favorite shots.






Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Interview at HocTok

A while back the editors at HocTok.com approached me for an interview. Where did they find me? How did they know me? They are based in Brooklyn, NY and I live in Fargo, ND. I am hardly a known poet, yet my work found its way to an online publication in NEW YORK CITY?

I couldn't believe it. Part of me still can't. That's me, those are my words, and they wanted to know more about ... me ...


I truly am honored to be (gulp) featured on a website. I have had poems published and a short interview that I applied for, but this is the first time I have ever been approached for an interview.

Is this real?

My significant other is in awe of my writing talent, as he calls it. I still have my doubts. Even though I have a full page of writing publications on my "writing CV," have been invited to two residencies this summer and have been accepted to an online graduate certificate program for teaching writing - I still have doubts.

Until fifth grade I attended a private Catholic school.
One lesson I remember was about a piece of construction paper that represented a person's self worth, appreciation and disappointment. With each action (falling on the playground, getting an F on an assignment, dropping your hot lunch on the floor, a person teasing you) a piece of the paper was torn off, representing a fragment of the self worth being taken away. Overnight when we slept, that time was for rebuilding that self worth - that was the heart's job. Unfortunately, the "person teasing you" event did not heal, leaving a corner still ripped away, leaving a hole hoping to be filled - but once that kind of event happens, the hurtful words event, those rips are permanent. Sure, it's just a small corner, but enough small corners can add up to tremendous pain. Always there, always missing that corner piece.

I still hear that one Creative Writing instructor's voice saying to me in the middle of class, in front of everyone, "Emily, your writing sucks."
That is one of my missing corners.

Then I remember Brian, my instructor at Washington University when CJ was 5. I took a Writing Poetry Workshop for fun and to get back into writing. His critique was, "I think I know where you want to go with this, it just feels off. Something doesn't quite work."

I feel like I am that piece of paper, missing that corner, trying to prove to that instructor that I am an adequate writer. Adequate - as in, mediocre. All I wanted was to be appreciated as a writer. I have been chasing this idea of being an adequate poet for the past 22 years.

Sad, don't you think? I have been chasing the idea of being an adequate poet, instead of realizing that I am an accomplished poet. I have a chapbook published and was approached for an interview.

That little piece of doubt is still there. Some would say I need to just get over it and move on. That little piece of doubt keeps me humble, keeps me grounded, keeps me aware that not everyone will enjoy my work, and that some people should not teach the subject they practice themselves.

I am honored to share my work with the HocTok.com readers.
I am humbled to know that my work has made it to New York City and is appreciated by others who "get" what I am trying to do and say.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Be Daring.



Okay, so we are into a new year, a new beginning with new struggles, new lessons, new writing, new everything. Many young people do not realize the damage this country has gone through with inept leaders at the helm.
Typically I would not "go political" on a professional blog, but so many artists and writers are sharing their feelings, and since I share my thoughts on twitter and facebook and a host of other social media pages, it feels wrong to not include my professional blog in the list.

Our country is facing some dangerous changes. A person with little regard to the welfare of others will become the leader of the United States of America. A person with boatloads of money to squander on gold toilet flanges and ten-thousand-dollar suits will be in charge of the fate of 100 million people in this country and millions of others outside this country. The Electoral College has spoken, and this person will be the president.

At times I shrink and say "what if we just sit back and wait it out?" - but just for a moment. Once I realize that defeatist attitude has infiltrated my being, I battle it out and say to myself "What would Anna do?" (Anna is my sister and my biggest cheerleader). When Anna feels overwhelmed, she runs. She runs and listens to music and escapes the fear by focusing on something she loves to do. She isn't running away from a problem, she is finding her center, finding her focus, finding herself again.

So I must do what I do when I need to find myself.
I must write.
I must create, I must speak out, I must make myself clear.
I must be direct and honest, while still showing compassion and grace when I am faced with insults to my intelligence.

I have been called some nasty, dirty names by people who do not know me. They have called me a "Lib-Tard" and "Sorry excuse for space" and "I feel sorry for your students."

All because I said "I have better things to do than watch the inauguration of a man who treats women like property and openly mocks people with disabilities. I'm washing my hair on inauguration day."

I will stand by my statement. I will wash my hair on inauguration day, and stand with my fellow writers who are tweeting #WritersResist

I cannot just sit and support a person who has openly mocked people with disabilities, bragged about sexual assault, denied payment to contractors, and a host of other despicable actions, just because the Electoral College elected him president. Respect is earned, and he has not earned my respect.

The Arts are where we tell the truth through stories.
Artists across the country and the globe are coming together to say NO. This is NOT what our country is about. We will NOT condone this type of behavior. We will fight for our rights, for the rights of others, for the rights of those without voices - we will not allow rich men in power to determine our fates.

My fate lies within myself.
We must be daring. We must find the strength within ourselves and among ourselves to keep kindness and empathy at the forefront of the American psyche.

As my father said when the current president-elect won the nomination, "We've survived assholes before. We'll survive this one."

I agree. We will survive. If we work together. If we work with intelligence and within the law and within our rights.

Be Real.
Be Yourself.
Be Proud.
Be Loud.
Be Smart.