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Zella Christensen

Waking Pantoum, poem, Issue 30, March 1, 2015

Zella Christensen is a writer and student with roots in Wisconsin and a home in Virginia. Her work has been published in Strange Horizons.

Get to know Zella...

Birthdate? St. Patrick's Day, a bit later than expected.
When did you start writing? I don't remember exactly, but it was sometime in elementary school. I distinctly remember writing "novels" while the teacher was talking.
When and what and where did you first get published? I had a very small poem published in 2011 by Twenty20 Journal, which published pieces no longer than 20 words.

What themes do you like to write about? I don't tend to set out with a theme in mind, but my poetry often focuses on the relationship between our emotional and physical fragility as humans. Monsters and internal organs make frequent appearances, too.

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? When I was a middle schooler who'd decided she might give this writing thing a try, my neighbors gave me a copy of The Rattle Bag, a poetry collection edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes. I think that's the book that taught me poems didn't have to rhyme, although they could; that they could tackle subjects as harrowing as the Holocaust or as mundane as the urge to scratch an itch; and that they could be as long as an epic or as short as a couplet. I sometimes catch the lines of my favorite poems from that collection running through my head like the lyrics of a catchy song.

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