Erin Jin Mei O'Malley is the Co-Founder of Sooth Swarm Journal. She lives in Germany and can be found on the internet at www.explorationsoferin.com.

 

                                                                                                            

 

Who has been the biggest influence in your life? What have they taught you? 

 

Definitely my mom. We have a sometimes complicated relationship, but she has always supported my writing. She has taught me so many things, one of the most important being that societal constructs are often arbitrary and/or strange. I don't think she meant to actively to teach me this, but that's what I've learned and held on to from way she has raised me.

 

What are you proudest of? 

 

Deciding to come to Germany was a fairly easy decision (even though I had no previous knowledge of the German language) because I was lucky enough to be awarded a full scholarship to study abroad, but actually living in another country hasn't always been easy. Here, my language and myself are both unquestionably foreign, and I think my biggest struggle during my time here continues to be the fact that I'm no longer articulate, which means I'm no longer comfortable with the new self that I speak and write from. But ultimately, I'm so proud of the fact that I've been able to give myself a new language that's completely mine in the ways I've wanted and acquired it. It has been really a great experience for me to expand my love of literary language into linguistic and cultural fields.

 

 

What are some other literary journals you admire? 

 

I read so many, but I definitely have to give shoutouts to TRACK//FOUR, The Paris American, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry for their recent published work.

 

What advice would you give other emerging writers? 

 

Keep track of all of your favorite lines/phrases/sentences in a notebook! This year I made an effort to write down my favorite parts of poems and stories, and now I can look back on them and try to figure what attracted me to those works in the first place and how I can incorporate the essence of whatever caught my eye into my own work.

 

What does you future hold? 

 

Reading lots of great books that will be coming out in 2017/2018, eating spicy food, studying comparative literature at the University of Somewhere, and trying to branch out (whatever that means) as a writer.