Elle Klock is an English major with a minor in Creative Writing at Portland State University. A native of Colorado and a traveler through Portland, Klock brings her artistry to her new home in the Pacific Northwest by inspiring engaging conversations, fueled by her love of writing. Between creating chapbooks and zines, Elle continues to showcase her passion for the literary community through her tenacity in staying true to her art.
Q: How would you describe your identity?
A: Oh man, that’s a big question. I’m a writer, sister, friend, amatuer runner. Originally from Colorado, I’m homesick for high deserts and mountain runoff, but find solace in the tall trees of the PNW. (I am however, terrified of the ocean).
Q: What inspires you to create?
A: I’m motivated by sublites, small changes, the unspoken shifts between us. The interplay of relationships over time, transgressions on the body, ghosts/memory are all huge themes of my work.
Q: What does your process look like when you are taking the seed of an idea and turning it into a finished product?
A: Most of my work starts with frenzied writing between 12 and 5 am, that seems to be when the veil is thinnest. Then in the harsh light of morning, I refine and edit. I am fortunate to have a writing group who I also pass most of my writing through before it moves on to “submission” stages.
Q: Who are some of your favorite poets? Are these poets reflected in your work in any way?
A: There are the big ones that stand out: Morrison, Atwood, Plath, Rich, and Oliver, but more contemporary poets like Maggie Nelson and Bhanu Kapil have deeply imprinted themselves on me.
Q: How do you think your art communicates with you? How do you think it communicates with an audience? Is this communication important to the process of your art?
A: I have often felt my work is all of my past selves reaching out to me through the dark, asking for their voices to be heard. In communication with readers, I think this comes across as non-linear, haunting, and cautionary. I am more concerned with the exodus that my art gives me personally, than with the reader’s interpretation. You can’t control how someone reads your work, which allows me to let go of some anxiety and fear I used to have around publishing my work.
Q: What is your next project?
A: A few different things. My partner and I collaborate on a zine we publish quarterly, SLUSH, although the winter issue’s printing is in limbo right now until shops open up. We’re working on issue four in the meantime. Personally, I’m working on a chapbook that maps out significant landmarks of pain/memory in connection to the physical form.
Q: As an artist, how would you define this phase of your life?
A: Chaotic would seem appropriate, given the circumstances. I’ve never been much of a sleeper and lately that’s even more inconsistent, so my life is hinged (or unhinged, rather) on unpredictability.
Q: What makes you happy?
A: Rivers, honest writing, a good run, strong coffee, dogs. All my friends in one place. Colorado.