Emma Clark — Winter 2014 – 2015

Winter 2014 – 2015

 

This time around Elizabeth and I decided to conduct our interviews a little differently. This time we conducted our interviews over G-chat.

Aaand after I realized there is a time difference between where this writer is and where I am and after we both got a little bit more comfortable with the technology, our chat actually got started.

 Let me introduce you to Emma Clark.

Emma Clark

 

TM:

Tell me a little about yourself. How did you become a writer?

Emma:
Oh man, talking about yourself is always the hardest. I’m 24, attend Beloit college as a lit studies major, and am from Minneapolis, MN. Prior to Beloit I studied at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and went to a performing arts high school.

I’ve never had the confidence to call myself a “writer,” but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

TM:
Interesting—so why wouldn’t you call yourself a writer?

Emma:
Writer is such a loaded title, I guess feel too unaccomplished to call myself one. I haven’t paid my dues quite yet to identify as such.

I spent a lot of years admiring writers like they were celebrities and I can’t get myself to identify as one yet, though I hope to one day.

TM:
Do you remember what first got you interested in writing? Was it a certain writer? How has your writing developed over the years?

Emma:
I’ve kept journals since I was a little kid. When I was younger I stopped speaking for awhile and I think I really got into writing as a way of finding my voice growing up.

The authors I first remember really obsessing over were Tom Robbins and Louise Erdrich.

They both play with language in such beautiful ways.

My writing has developed a lot in the last few years. I owe it to the English department at Beloit, I’ve had some wonderful mentors.

TM:
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?

Emma:
You’re going to get me in trouble. haha

Fran Abbate and Chris Fink come to mind. Fran is working with me on a confessional poetry project and Chris is the reason I submitted to your publication in the first place, so they deserve a shout out.

TM:
This might not be better… is one of your poems about any douchebag in particular?

Emma:
Haha, I write about quite a few Douchebags

That poem in particular is not one of them though, but The Universe certainly is.

TM:
So you write, partially, from life experience? Does your writing come from anywhere else?

Emma:
It definitely started out that way. I’d say that writing from personal experience has expanded into drawing inspiration from memory. The way our memory is formed is really interesting, especially in relation to family history.

I’ve also been interested in a lot of new age topics after interning at a publishing house specializing in them. I’m not sure how much I buy, but conceptually it’s fascinating.

I’m a shameless astrology nerd.

TM:
I definitely agree with how interesting memory is. Do you have any thoughts on the way memory is formed and developed? Also, what kind of new age topics?

Emma:
I’m certainly no expert on memory, but readdressing memories from childhood later in life is something I think about a lot. My sister and I have discussed shared memories from when we were little and it is astounding the way our interpretations differ, but also construct a richer picture of the past.

TM:
It seems like poetry can do that too. Have you always written poetry?

Emma:
Yeah, I’ve learned a lot about the way I internalize things through poetry that’s for sure. I have always written poetry, even when I was little. I’m a music lover so I think the lyricism and lawlessness is what first grabbed me about the form.

The way I think is usually chaotic and poetry was a way of explaining the world in a way that made sense to my brain.

TM:
Do you have any strange writing habits?

Emma:
Totally.

When I write I’m always in a corner and never in my own room.

Lists I have notebooks filled with word lists. The words aren’t necessarily interesting either.

Things like doormat will be in there next to some bio-medical term I took from a dictionary.

TM:
That seems like a great brainstorming activity. How would you describe your writing in one word?

Emma:
To answer your question I guess I’ll steal Chris’s words and say visceral. I like that description a lot.

TM:
I think I’ll just ask a couple more questions.

Is there any more of your work out there in the world? Where can readers find it?

I lied. Three questions. Is there anything else you want to say about your work or writing or poetry?

Emma:
My writing’s not really out there—beyond some small on campus zines and Pocket Lint (another lit publication related to the college).

I’m not sure what all I can say about my work, I’m still learning about myself through it. In general though I really hope to see the interest in contemporary poetry rise among young people.

Oh and read Michael Dickman, that’s probably the best thing I can tell people to do. He’s amazing.

TM:
I think that’s all I’ve got for now. It was nice chatting with you!

 

 

First line of Clark’s poem, “The Universe:”

It was summer when blood filled my room.

Winter 2014-2015 Issue

 

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