Program Launch artist: Emma Marie Jones

Molly Lukin  

Photo by Matt Greenwood

We asked Emma Marie Jones about her upcoming appearance at our Festival Program Launch: Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars (you are invited). We will be hearing from four writers about their failed ambitions, as well us finally learning what is in store for the Emerging Writers’ Festival 2016 program. We cannot wait!

You’re performing at the launch of our program on 10 May – yay – do you have any thoughts about the theme of the night: ‘Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars’?
Honestly, I think I’m gonna stop somewhere close to that gutter/stardom halfway point for a sneaky nervous vom before I hit the stage.

What have you been working on lately?
Multiple day jobs and not having a mental breakdown lol. Writing some poems, some criticism and trying to wrestle my idea for a novel manuscript into an actual novel manuscript. Reading heaps of essays by Susan Stewart and Maggie Nelson. I’ve also turned my diary column from last year into a Tinyletter, which I (kind of sporadically) update, u should subscribe!

You’re a writer, a poet, and an editor. How do you balance your writing and editing work?
It can be hard to balance paid work, freelance work, unpaid work and other stuff like study, luv and mates. I feel like even tho I attempt to do it, I still don’t really know the answer to this question. How do I do it? Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Is your process for writing different across your different forms: essay, diary entry, poetry?
You know, I was thinking this when I went to answer these questions, and I decided: no. I think it was once, and I had demarcated these really rigid and unyielding boundaries between ‘critical’ me and ‘poetic’ me and like ‘cute, intimate diary’ me and maybe even ‘interview’ me, and none of the different mes ever touched or whatever. But I’m a little shit and I like to push boundaries, and the more I pushed them the more I realised that the joy of critical thought for me is play. It’s blurring boundaries, no not even blurring them but like totally reshaping them, erasing them. So nah. The processes are pretty much the same.

Have you any advice for fellow writers?
Read heaps and embrace rejection and don’t forget u got this, bb.

What aspects of the Emerging Writers’ Festival do you look forward to?
Readings and panels and cute interstate mates so u know, basically all of it °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

Emma Marie Jones is a Melbourne-based poet, writer and editor. Her short fiction, poems and essays have appeared in Seizure, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Stilts, SCUM and others, and in 2015 she was shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. She tweets at @emmacones.