I was born and raised outside St Louis, Missouri. I lived in Kansas for three years before moving to Fargo, North Dakota ten years ago. Fargo winters are rough, but it’s worth it for the easier summers.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I am still working on calling Fargo home, even though I have lived here for ten years. I find comfort in my studio, at the theatre, sitting on the sofa with my grandma’s afghan draped over my shoulders and my cat snoozing on my lap. My daughter is sleeping soundly in the other room as my son walks in late after work. They say home is where the heart is. Yeah, it’s cliché, and it really is true. As difficult as it is being a single mom of two special needs kids, there is so much joy. My daughter lights up when she sees me after a long day at school, and seeing that lovely curly-headed darling squeal in glee, arms outstretched, embracing my neck… that’s home.
What turns you on creatively?
I am inspired by small wonders and difficult circumstances. Just about every story has been told, so as a writer I am always trying to find a different angle, a different stance, a new way of seeing the world; sometimes I am successful, other times, not so much. Performance is where I really get excited. I love performing my poetry at open mic nights and poetry slams, anywhere I can share my voice and spirit, I embrace it. I admit, I enjoy being on stage, being the center of attention, even if just for a few minutes. Hearing other poets read their work is also inspiring. I’ll catch a phrase or a particular sound will catch my attention, and a new poem will form immediately in my head. That’s why I keep a notebook with me at all times. You never know when inspiration will hit.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I have a few favorite words I like to use, though they sound pretentious. The word “evoke” comes to mind immediately. When an image evokes, the image becomes a part of your essence. The image and its accompanying emotion are tied together in a braid of intrigue and intent, and no matter what you do, that emotion will forever be entangled with that image. Fascinating stuff.
Using a word poetically? Sandpaper. The word “Sandpaper” holds so much texture, we can see sandpaper, hear the scuffing, feel the roughness, smell and taste the dust… the word “Sandpaper” hits all the senses.
(from my poem BiPolar Is…)
…and Bipolar is
wearing lead boots when you’re barefoot and fresh bread is sandpaper on the tongue…
What is your pet peeve?
Ignorance about one’s own privilege. Small-mindedness. Self-righteousness. Self doubt. Self hatred. Judgment and prejudice. Intolerance. Misconceptions of mental illness. Fear of “different.” Inability to affect change. Change.
No, those are huge issues…
Back to little things… my pen going dry mid-thought. A pencil without an eraser. Waiting for my laptop to boot up and connect to the random coffeehouse Wi-Fi.
What defines Emily Vieweg?
Some people say it’s a cop-out to respond with, “I’m just me,” yet here we are. Okay, I’ll bite.
Emily Vieweg is a single mother of two. Emily Vieweg is a fierce advocate for equality and equity for anyone seeking to share their voice. Emily Vieweg is a survivor of sexual assault. Emily Vieweg does not apologize for her opinions, actions or boundaries. Emily Vieweg turns into “Mama Bear” when her cubs are threatened by bullies, or life. Emily Vieweg believes in helping others find their way. Emily Vieweg is an optimist to a fault, with a hint of skepticism and definite understanding of reality. Emily Vieweg may have an unconfirmed Diet Dr Pepper addiction. Emily Vieweg believes that people are born inherently good and must be taught how to hate and judge. Emily Vieweg is doing the best she can with what she has, and though she is not religious, sometimes she prays for strength to keep on keepin on. Emily Vieweg survives the daily task of managing life with BiPolar Depression. Emily Vieweg is exhausted by any form of stigma and shame and refuses to live in the shadows. Emily Vieweg is about finding strength in any way you can to power through whatever obstacle is in your way, and she will be there on the other side of the mountain, ready to hold or hug anyone who needs her.
Emily Vieweg is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young's Good Morning, Proximity Magazine and more. Emily's debut chapbook "Look Where She Points" is available 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.