Meg Eden “…I get that aha moment with the protagonist, where I realize I’m learning alongside her..”
Can You Tell Me a Bit About Your Writing?
The ideas that drive my work are ideas that linger with and haunt me. These ideas haunt me, I’ve come to realize, because they say something about what I need to learn. I tend to start writing because an idea interests me. I don’t know why it interests me, but I keep thinking about it. Maybe I don’t understand it but want to. I research and explore and draft—many projects remain unfinished, but the ones that I keep pursuing are ones that need to teach me something. I hit the climax and I realize what the story is really about, and I get that aha moment with the protagonist, where I realize I’m learning alongside her. That’s what motivates me now as a writer: figuring out what that lesson is, and how I can learn and grow alongside my protagonist. With each book, I give something up and grow a little. There’s a sense of relief that follows.
In my most recently published work, I’ve been really interested in how we as humans cope with loss and change. I write to cope, to process, and so perhaps that’s part of why I gravitate towards this sort of subject matter as well. Drowning in the Floating World explores the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Fukushima powerplant disaster, and takes on a range of point of views to explore that disaster. Slowing down through the form of poetry to reflect on disaster and loss was the only way for me to really do this.
Links to Work
Drowning in a Floating World
Drowning in a Floating World
by Meg Eden
the old woman who visits me for tea is dead but I don’t have the heart to tell herevery time I see my mother there’s a pool of seawater in her roomand still no one’s removed that boat off the top of the Sumitomo’s buildingif a boat can get all the way up there what keeps us from disappearing into the sky
Meg Eden, —from Rattle #49, Fall 2015
Drowning in the Floating World by Meg Eden immerses us into the Japanese natural disaster known as 3/11: the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Relentless as the disaster itself, Eden seizes control of our deepest emotional centers, and, through insightful perspective, holds us in consideration of loss, helplessness, upheaval, and, perhaps most stirring, what do make of, and do with, survival. This poetry collection is also a cultural education, sure to encourage further reading and research. Drowning in the Floating World is, itself, a tsunami stone—a warning beacon to remind us to learn from disaster and, in doing so, honor all that’s lost.
About the Author
Meg Eden’s work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Poet Lore, RHINO and CV2. She teaches creative writing at the University of Maryland. She has five poetry chapbooks, and her novel “Post-High School Reality Quest” is published with California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Find her online at http://www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal.