TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: J.I. Kleinberg — Combination Contributor

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As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity is as necessary and urgent as breath. I don’t feel like it’s a choice or a lifestyle; it’s simply part of who I am, like the color of my eyes. To be creative is allowing, making space for something to happen, not worrying about whether it’s good. (The worrying and the making-it-good come later.)

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Definitely a morning person. I’m most open to possibility before I engage with the world (email, phone, news, etc.), so I go there first. Even 15 minutes is worthwhile and 15 minutes a day (or an hour) turns into a lot of raw material that can be revised for a long time to come.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?
It varies. Some of my work is personal, even confessional, and some responds to the state of the world. But much of my writing is taken up with the ineffable, the mysterious, the shadow, and I am entirely okay with indulging my imagination in what I write.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

I don’t see my interests as divided into genres, but rather see everything as connected and my life as an opportunity to learn. I read extensively – poetry, fiction and non-fiction – and look at a lot of art. I was a fiber artist for years and still do a bit of that. My found poems combine words with a visual aesthetic. They use collage as a sort of map into language and meaning.

What/who inspires you the most?
I’m continually dazzled by the lush generosity of the English language, by nature, by the senses, by simply looking out the window.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Too many to name, but a few poets I am admiring and sharing enthusiastically: Ellen Bass, Bruce Beasley, Stephen Dunn, Patrick Lane, Nancy Pagh, Pamela Porter, Bethany Reid, Michael Schmeltzer.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Read the publication; read the guidelines; let your work rest a few weeks before you send it out, then review it, edit, and proof, proof, proof. Keep track of your submissions (where, when, response, etc.); expect rejection and celebrate acceptance; don’t invest too much in your submissions: the next poem you write will be better and you’ll wish you’d waited instead of sending out that other one. If a piece of writing is rejected a number of times, revisit it to see whether it needs editing; it’s possible you just haven’t found the right publication yet.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I’m moving in the direction of a book and gallery exhibit for my found poetry. (The originals are quite small — a quarter of a page — but I scan them at high resolution and have blown them up successfully to 3 feet by 5 feet!)


About J.I. Kleinberg

Artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg is a Pushcart nominee and winner of the 2016 Ken Warfel Fellowship. Her found poems have appeared in DiagramHeavy Feather ReviewRise Up ReviewThe Tishman Review (Oct. 2016), HedgerowOtoliths, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at

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