Editor Interviews | Emylee Amber

Emylee Amber is an observer of the stars and an architect of art built on a foundation of words. She is passionate about music and helps her partner construct poetry to the sky with his band, Saeva. While observing the stars, Emylee runs her own Instagram based on the movements of the planets and other astrology-based information @eclipselunairee. Emylee is wandering about the Centennial State. Searching for things and those that peak her curiosity, while finding comfort in the embrace of the mountains and magic surrounding her. She contributed to Thought For Food (South Broadway Press, 2020) by editing the anthology and publishing her poem, Speak to Me.

Remember this place- we watched the skies turn dark and the leaves start their journey away.

The golden hour lasted forever and I couldn’t imagine calling any other place home.

It feels like we were dreaming the whole time- it was as though that quiet would last forever.

Unknown – Found on the bathroom wall at RitualCravt’s old location

What does this quote mean to you?

This quote found me when I was in the midst of an identity crisis. I had been wandering around for what felt decades in a vessel I hardly knew. It was the spring of 2018, after a brutal breakup that left me without many friends — in a city that I was from, but hadn’t grown up in. So everyone, including myself, was a stranger. Anonymous. I desperately wanted to embrace a feeling that felt like home, where I could recognize and understand myself. I was at an Astrology workshop at RitualCravt attempting to use the stars to lead me to this lingering desire. This quote was hanging above the light switch in the bathroom of RitualCravt’s old location. 

Upon reading it, I immediately felt seen. Heard. Understood. I knew of this place and it had felt like a “home”. I was saying goodbye to it, over and over again. Yet, at the same time, this reminded me that “this place” has yet to come. I will have another moment of quiet within the golden hour, and again, it will feel but only of a dream that was to last forever; and that’s the beauty of it.

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

Outside of my collection of art, occult, and poetry books — the most important impact I’ve had with stories wasn’t in a book at all. When I was a little monster, I had the hardest time falling asleep. My mother would lay with me in order for me to knock out. Most nights I couldn’t wind down, so eventually my mom started telling me bed-time stories. My favorite one, in particular, was about a little grey mouse who lived in a little grey house. She and I created a whole family for Little Grey, including his best friend Byron Brown. I can still picture the town I imagined in my head for him; I can see his favorite ice cream shop and the baseball fields Little Grey and his older brother, Fred, would practice at. The way my mom went into detail and came up with adventures meant the world to me. It helped me foster my imagination and showed me the importance of words. 

At a certain point in my childhood, I had drawn a map of Little Grey’s town. I came up with a story web on how each person in the town was related. I even started to draw pictures of Little Grey and his family. Unfortunately, the drafting of those stories into physical form never came to fruition since I could never fully remember them after a night of sleep. Yet, I will hold those memories dear in my heart. Maybe one day Little Grey’s adventures will be written again but until then I will remember to play in my imagination, use my words to tell stories or open up important conversations and remember sometimes the best stories can’t always be retold.

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

Priceless. Art has and will always be priceless, no matter the media. It tells a story. It’s a piece of history, of not only your life, but the world that once was and will be. It’s an escape, yet it is also a connection. It’s a song. It’s a smile. It’s that weird meme you came across on the internet that hits a little too close to home. Art is in everything that we do, that we speak, feel, touch, see, dream, and heck, even all of us are pieces of art too. 

This moment in history we are living in is the best time to remind society of the recognition art deserves. Let’s put pressure on those that do not recognize the impact of art and remind them that without art, they wouldn’t even be here; yes, corporations and the United States government — I am looking at you. Now is the time to use all of the medians we have at our disposal to break down those barriers, mark our history, and make our voices heard. Make our beliefs seen. Make the world remember that art is in you and me. Art is priceless.

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

To be frank, I wouldn’t still be on this planet without writing and art. As a child, I was constantly living in my imagination. I sang from the time I knew how to make noise, started drawing as soon as my parent’s felt comfortable with me to use a writing utensil, and eventually fell in love with writing and storytelling. In middle school, we did a poetry course and I was enamored by the concept of expressing oneself in word play, exaggerated sentence structures, and without even addressing the topic. Eventually, it was the only way I could cope with my mental health and I found a lot of solace in this space I had cultivated for myself. Writing had been such a private avenue for me. I only shared my pieces to those I felt like would be the most connected to the matter. 

When I moved back to Colorado after graduating high school in Illinois, poetry led me to many friendships and opportunities within the Denver community. A professor-turned-friend, Tara Shea Burke, would seek out poetry readings at Mercury Café and Book Bar while encouraging me to not only tag along for the adventure, but to also share my pieces to a live audience. It was exhilarating. Those moments are what led me to having this opportunity to be an Editor with South Broadway Press, while also having the confidence to work on my own art within my astrology work and musical collaborations with my partner. (P.S. You need to check out Tara’s work — it is phenomenal!)

What is something that matters to you?

I’ll be honest, this is the last question I answered in this interview. There are a plethora of aspects within our society and life that matter to me, yet they all result back to people. So, I would say people matter to me. People’s behaviors, stories, opinions, and truths — what makes them so incredibly human; I can’t get enough of how important all of those little tidbits are. To how they will see the world around them and with those perspectives how it will impact their actions, shape their world and mine. 

I could spend hours observing people and trying to learn their story, while taking several days speaking with them to understand the shape they hold within this universe. I want to know what has taught them to grow and what they are still healing from. I want to know what they believe in and see if their beliefs are something that could hold truth in my world. 

It’s also a pastime of mine to try and figure out people’s planet placements within their natal chart by interacting with them. Since it helps me with understanding one of my passions but it also shows me that people aren’t black and white. As stated before, they are frickin’ art and they matter even if there are obstacles in our world showing them differently.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

You can find me slingin’ cards virtually or in a small gathering of friends almost weekly to play Magic: The Gathering. I almost picked my favorite flavor text, “Your life will set with the sun”, as my quote for this interview. If I’m not casting spells, I can be found listening to The Cure and Depeche Mode while wallowing in my teenage-angst by still being 110% obsessed with My Chemical Romance. Yes, I’m crying because I miss concerts.

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