Hello there! I’m Emily Stoddard, a writer. Poetry is my first love. Essays are often where I turn when a poem decides it doesn’t want to be a poem anymore. Fiction writing is an ongoing conquest. I love blurring the lines between all of them whenever it feels right.
I don’t think it’s fair to pigeonhole anyone into what their writing may or may not be “about.” But I can say there are certain ideas and questions that keep bringing me back to language and story-making. Connectedness and spiritual roots/purpose, fueled by a deep well of restlessness, have been explorations in my writing since I started keeping a journal in sixth grade. Those are fed by ongoing learning in myth, mysticism, creativity, and nature. I’m constantly curious about how those spaces/practices can be a path between our individual voices and the “something more” that emerges in deep creative work.
Making that kind of learning real and grounded in the world is something I tussle with. In the summer of 2017, my husband and I took a big leap in that direction and bought 7.7 acres of creekside land-magic here in Michigan. We’ll be setting roots in a way we haven’t before, and I’m excited to create and learn with the earth and through the seasons.
Writing as a Practice
I believe any creative practice is part of an ongoing conversation. A lineage, even. I’ve been influenced by many creative spirits, especially the Amherst Writers & Artists community. My work as a workshop leader and creative ally wouldn’t be possible without Pat Schneider and others before her, such as Brenda Ueland.
In 2015, I became a Certified Leader of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method. It’s one of the most generative and welcoming approaches to writing that I’ve found, so I was thrilled to have a chance to share it with others. In 2016, I opened Voice & Vessel, a writing studio based in Michigan. I offer writing workshops, retreats, and creative guidance here in the mitten state and online. I also lead a monthly writing circle meetup in Grand Rapids.
I don’t have the MFA that feels so ever-present these days. Instead, I’m creating a “program of one’s own,” to borrow from Virginia Woolf. I completed workshops at The Writing Salon and The Grotto while living in San Francisco. I also studied with Diane Wakoski at Michigan State University, am an alum of the wonderful Poets on the Coast, and was selected by Marge Piercy to participate in her 2013 Poetry Intensive. In 2017, I completed the Singing Over the Bones training with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
My writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, New Poetry from the Midwest, An Alphabet of Embers, Watershed Review, Cold Mountain Review, Menacing Hedge, Hermeneutic Chaos, and elsewhere. Here’s a more complete list of my latest writing out in the world.