Interview with Ariana Den Bleyker

First, a quick thanks to everyone who’s submitting to us so far and to everyone who’s bought a copy. I had to do a second run to meet demand, which is both satisfying and frustrating to my lazy self. Next, we’ve got an interview with Ariana Den Bleyker, who not only writes but also runs ELJ Publications, a real deal publisher of literary things.

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Describe your work in 25 words or less.

Relentless in truth, fearless in confession.

Tell me about your poem “Making Love After Kids.”

I think anyone who’s been married for over 15 years and has one or two young children understand that getting a few minutes to steal away with your spouse is a rare opportunity, even at bedtime. This poem amplifies how we toss and turn with pieces of ourselves all week until we can finally take what we want and need when there is a moment to rest.

What or who inspires you to write?

My inspirations vary. Most of what inspires me to write is my past and working through it. Sometimes, it might just be a lyric to a song, a memory or a dream that opens me up.

What authors have influenced you as a writer?

I devour Mary Stone Dockery and Noelle Kocot. These are two contemporary woman poets to read. I’ve also been a fan of Sharon Olds, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich.

Do you have a blog/website?

Yes. Admittedly, I don’t update it as frequently as I should. I spend most of my spare hours maintaining all of the ELJ Publications’ sites.

Where can we read you next?

I have several pieces floating around out there in A NARROW FELLOW, Stone Highway Review and others. 2014 will bring the chaps Hatched from Bone and Stitches. It will also bring micro-chaps On This and That and On How Steel Breaks Stone, Bone.

What are you working on right now?

The manuscript doesn’t fit anything. I am a poet, but this is not poetry. It is not fiction in a traditional sense. It is not fan fiction, despite the character used as a vehicle. It is not creative non-fiction despite it being based on my own self-discoveries and dream sequences. It is strange, hybrid. It is lyrical but not prose poetry. It is written in standard sentences but not really traditional prose. I hope the writing itself lets you decide. I can freely admit it fits the dark fantasy genre, like a graphic novel without illustrations. What I’ve done is illustrate with words.

It is dark fantasy tale written in ten flash chapters, each a tiny dream sequence, perhaps prose poems, involving a well-known and loved horror figure born on the big screen. The figure, though only alluded to throughout the tale, is purely a vehicle by which the narrator explores herself and her psyche through her own dreams. At its heart it is a deep, psychological collection. Although not revealed until the end of the story, the tale cohesively explores the emotional death and rebirth of the narrator through a retelling of dreams to her listener, Freddie Krueger. Written in a first person present tense point of view, the subconscious revelations of the narrator are both rich and accessible. It is narrated dream about a therapy session that explores dreams. Despite the fact each of the pieces are complete fragments, it is a classic literary growth cycle with a twist. It is tale of dreams and the dream master.

Yup, can’t find anyone that wants it other than in an anthology. It’s too personal for that.

Any advice for other writers?

Read. Lots. Oh, and always be willing to accept constructive criticism from wherever it comes. Sometimes we are too close to what we’re writing.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you. And, if you have the time check out my press ELJ Publications (, parent of Emerge Literary Journal and scissors & spackle. Sorry, Kevin, I had to plug it. : )

About bopdeadcity

Bop Dead City is an independent, quarterly literary magazine. We are seeking new writers who have a great story to tell. Sound craftsmanship couldn't hurt either. All of our issues are available for purchase here on the site through Paypal. If you’d like to know more about what type of work we publish, reading a back issue would be the best way to do it. View all posts by bopdeadcity

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