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What’s it like to be on a first date and say you wrote a book called Inappropriate Sleepover?

Well, the guys mostly look scared and/or confused, but I feel great!


What do you like to do on a first date?

I think meeting for a drink is good. Dinner is too much of a commitment for a first date.


What perfume are you wearing right now?



What are you reading right now?

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr.


You’re a modern dancer turned poet. Do you have a Peter Pan complex?

No. I work really hard.


You feel you’re an underdog. Do you think that’s really accurate or did you assign yourself that role?

I think I’m an underdog, yes. I know that embracing that feeling helps me be productive so it’s useful in that way…but… yeah… I think so.


Since you were a kid, you’ve been obsessed with women with unusual life stories.

Yes. Isadora Duncan, Etta Place, Gypsy Rose Lee, Josephine Baker… It drives me crazy that we don’t know what happened to Etta Place. Was that even her real name? At the same time, I admire the mystery. I think being mysterious has become an undervalued trait.


Your forthcoming book is called The Crimes of Clara Turlington. Who is Clara Turlington? What did she do?

You’ll have to read the book to find out.


You’re the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal. How long has Dressing Room been around?

The first issue came out in December 2012.


What else do you want people to know?

I’d like a chocolate milkshake.



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MEG JOHNSON is the author of the full length poetry collection Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014) which was a NewPages Editor's Pick and the runner-up for the Rousseau Prize for Literature. Her second book, The Crimes of Clara Turlington, won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award and is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press (December 2015). Her poems have appeared in Chiron Review, Hobart, Midwestern Gothic, Nashville Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Slipstream Magazine, Sugar House Review, Superstition Review, Verse Daily, Word Riot, and others. She won an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2013 and has been a Best of the Net nominee. Meg started dancing at a young age and worked professionally in the performing arts for many years. She is the founding editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program in 2014. She has taught writing at Iowa State University and University of Akron. She has served as a judge for Poetry Out Loud (Iowa) and as an evaluator for the Madison (Wisconsin) Arts Commission. Meg will be the guest judge for the 2016 Vignette Collection Award (Submission Deadline: February 28, 2016). Meg’s hobbies include watching old movies, going to baseball games, buying, wearing, and reselling dresses, and dog-sitting. She has been a night owl her whole life, is generally restless, and drinks too much Diet Mountain Dew. Her website is: megjohnson.org and she blogs at: megjohnsonmegjohnson.blogspot.com

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