Jennifer Clark’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times and once for the Rhysling Award. Her first book of poems, Necessary Clearings, was recently published by Shabda Press. Her short story published in Fiction Fix received their 2013 Editor’s Choice Award. Clark’s writings have been published in failbetter, Structo, Pacific Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Nimrod, Concho River Review, Ecotone, Flyway, Encore Magazine, and elsewhere. Her work has been anthologized in such places as [Ex]tinction & [Ex]tinguished (Twelve Winters Press), Zombies for a Cure (Elektrik Milk Bath Press), and Growing Concerns: An Eco-Horror Anthology (Chupa Cabra House). She recently completed a 26,000-word manuscript for middle school readers who enjoy edgy fiction. Several of her poems were published in the Autumn 2015 issue of The 3288 Review.
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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?
Jennifer Clark: I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t interested in writing. I don’t know if I could pin my interest in the written word on any one moment or event. I was in second or third grade when, through school book orders, I purchased Funny Jokes and Foxy Riddles by Allan Jaffee. I must have read that book cover to cover at least a hundred times. When I was eleven I wrote a joke book. I titled it Humor My Mother Doesn’t Appreciate and sent it off to a publisher in New York City. I mistakenly assumed it would be a hit. Instead, a few months later I got my first taste of rejection. On the upper left corner of the form letter an editor had written: “Keep Writing!” I kept writing.