Local poet finds inspiration in beauty, struggles of everyday life
FARGO — Poetry is more than an act of self-expression for writer Emily Vieweg. It's what empowers her to make sense of her world and find inspiration in what she calls the "beauty of the mundane."
Folding laundry, washing dishes, waiting for an audition or relaxing after the kids fall asleep — if it's an inevitable aspect of being human, Vieweg sees it as an opportunity to capture the moment in poetry.
"I take snippets of everyday life and weave words into tapestries for the soul," Vieweg said. "The bulk of my poetry consists of short, simple language that's accessible to individuals who may not understand some of the flowery language that the idea of 'poetry' evokes."
Vieweg has been writing for over 30 years, but the Missouri native realized her potential as a writer when she published her first poem, "At the Audition," in 2006. In recent years, she's published two books and several individual poems, one of which earned runner-up in an international poetry contest based in Ireland.
Now, after living in Fargo for over a decade, the accomplished poet is even more ambitious about her creative goals.
In 2017, Vieweg received a grant from The Arts Partnership for a designated writing space at APT, a Creative Incubator in downtown Fargo to work on her next big project: a full-length collection of poetry.
The collection, which she's writing in addition to working full time and raising two kids, will consist of 90 poems about a range of topics inspired by everyday life. She's completed 40 poems so far.
"About 20 (of the poems) are brand new pieces, which may not sound like a lot, but when you consider that Robert Frost spent months editing a single poem... It's all about perspective," she said with admirable authenticity.
She hopes to have the collection finished within the next year.
In addition to writing about daily life, Vieweg is also refreshingly honest about her battles with bipolar disorder and struggles of raising two children on the autism spectrum in her work.
Her award-winning poem "Bipolar Is..." in particular is one of her favorite poems to perform at open mic nights and poetry slams.
"I love (putting) action and emotion into the language so other people can see what I'm seeing when I write a piece," Vieweg said. "When I perform 'Bipolar Is...' I just dive in with both feet."
Vieweg adds that the experience is "just a real, raw, and brutally honest" interpretation of the work that puts a piece of her soul on stage.
Whether she's presenting her work vocally or on paper, the writer's ultimate goal is to promote poetry as a valid communication method and help people understand that language can be simple and poetic at the same time, she said.
"My poetry is communication about my world," Vieweg said. "Everyone has a voice, and poetry is my way of sharing my voice, and my children's voices until they can share their own."
To learn more about Emily Vieweg and view her Etsy page, visit emilyvieweg.com.
This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit theartspartnership.net.