Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And so it begins...

Inspired by my many "serious" blogger friends, I am hereby abandoning my past as a "casual" blogger. Blogging is, as some might say, serious business, after all, and there are a lot of serious things to be said.

My name is Emily, but some of you may have read my poetry published under the moniker E. Kristin Anderson. You know, as in ekristinanderson.blogspot.com. Yes, it's a penname, don't fault me for it. Some other Emily Morse got there first and published screenplays with my name. I know, I know, it's a tragedy. But I figure this is a great way to take advantage of my grandmother's maiden name. And she's an awesome lady, so why not be an Anderson? And as to prevent further confusion with the billions of Emily Andersons that must exist, I decided to shorten that first name to E. and use Kristin. Of course, this has caused just the slightest bit of agony. It seems that the popular way to spell Kristin is with an e: Kristen. Funny story: my Dad can't spell. And having not discussed spelling with my mother before she was put on infinite painkillers, I was born and my birth certificate was filled out wrong. And never corrected. I'm a walking mistake, in some sense of the world. No wonder I'm a hate-mongering tart.

Emily is a great name, though. The first person I shared my name with was Miss Emily Dickinson. I mean, clearly, there were millions, no, billions, of Emilies running amok in the world at the time, but when i was seven or eight I was standing in line at the book store with my mum and saw that there was a book with my name on it with all the other bargain books: the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson. It MUST have been a bargain book because it was a massive hardcover tome with roses on the cover, and I can't imagine even my, who was and is a great advocate of reading and the arts for kids, spending more than ten bucks on a book of poetry that I wanted just because of the author's name.

I fell in love with poetry that summer. I read most of Emily's poems (I'd like to say all, but I know that's not true), which of course I thought were all about love of nature and wanting to live in the ocean as a mermaid and such - the naiveté of childhood blocks out the ideas of depression and suicide that are so predominant in such works - and that fall I started telling people that I was named after Miss Dickinson. A total lie: if I was named after anyone, my mother said, it was her "Aunt" Emily, who was actually just a favorite babysitter who spelled her name E-M-I-L-I-E (another spelling mistake on my parents' permanent record) and, truth be told, it wasn't so much that I was named after her but that my mother really liked her name. I kept lying, much like I had when I found out that Emily had once been a nickname for Amelia and started writing Amelia Morse on all my school papers.

Nevertheless, Emily Dickinson and her twee poems about the birds and the ocean and her deep, dark heartache built me as a writer. Her superfluous use of the em dash and her impenetrable meter may not be my shtick, but she gave me my first taste from a cup that I just can't seem to put down. Over and over I asked my mom why she never showed anyone her poetry, why she hid it (I imagined that she kept it with a few hand-made sachets of potpourri in her underwear drawer) and it was only published after she died. I can't remember what my mother answered with, only that it was unsatisfactory. Poetry is art, and art is meant to be shared.

Recently I began my quest to share my poetry in a serious manner (i.e., not just posting it on the web for my friends). On the right, much like my pretentious poet friend James, I'll post journals that have picked up my verse for publication in their pages. For the time being, some of my poetry is also available at my deviantART page, but it is quickly disappearing these days, as it finishes its time being workshopped and is mailed off to literary journals. Literary journals to me are worse than crack-cocaine and I hope never to go to rehab for this addiction. I hope that literature will be the problem that takes me over and puts me in the ground. It is, after all, so much like love.


  1. Emily Dickinson is NOT a credit to the Emily's of the world. She is an insult to the name.

  2. I love this blog. It's such a great idea for you to start it, Em! And I'm happy you've decided to pursue your dreams of being a poet. I'm doing the same with music :)