Amy Beth Outland is a freelance writer and editor with social media experience and a B.A. in English and Type: 09 teaching certification from Illinois State University. She has worked as a freelance social media writer for Gather.com. She has also worked as an English: 101 undergraduate teaching assistant while attending Illinois State University.

Amy also works as a tutor and a Guest Services Representative at Franciscan St. James Health in Olympia Fields, Illinois. Her first novel I’m Not Broken is soon to be published by Re.ad Publishing in Corte Madera, California.

Amy has also had several poems published in Chicago based fine arts journals including: Exact Change Only, Prevail N Prosper, The Insomniac Propagandist, and Reflections & Illuminations.

What is your medium of choice?

Describe your creative process (i.e. brainstorming, sketches, etc.).
It depends. For poetry, I usually write them in a notebook and type them later. But when I’m doing longer work, I use the computer exclusively. I usually take notes in my phone when particular words or phrases strike me.

Where do you get most of your creative work done?
At the public library or Starbucks lately.

Is there a particular theme or concept you’re working with at the moment?
I had sort of a nomadic existence for about a year now. I’ve been preoccupied with the concept of home (the physical space, or the concept of it, where do we find it, what does it mean, etc.).

Who do you hope connects with your work?
I’m flattered if even one single person connects with my work.

Who are some of your creative inspirations?
Jodi Picoult, John Green, Veronica Roth

Are there any specific places you go to feel inspired?
I’m looking forward to checking out the David Bowie Is exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Who would be your dream collaboration, living or dead?
Jared Leto, Sylvia Plath, John Lennon, Maya Angelou, Stephen Chbosky

Do you or do you want to explore other means of expression?
I think I’ll stick to writing.

Are you Harry Potter/a vampire/any other mythical creature?
Not at the moment but in the future, who knows? I’d love to be a Doctor Who companion.

Do you listen to any music while working on your art? If so, who?
Always. I love all types of music. Thirty Seconds to Mars, Ryan Star, Jillette Johnson, Taylor Swift, and Empires are a few of my favorite bands right now.

You can follow Amy on Twitter @amypond27 or find her on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Time to Be Alive
(for Jared Leto & LC) xoxo

Last night’s tee shirt
mesmerizing voices
throat hoarse from screaming
body and mind singing with joy
thoughts on an endless loop
remembering what it’s like
to be in a room with those who understand
the way familiar words and melodies
can touch you like nothing else can
memories on conquistadors and cities of angels
the words of one man (with or without his Jesus hair)
can search and destroy all the pain you feel
and replace it with joy
dream out loud of the day
it will happen again
when life won’t be up in the air
every moment is do or die
when the music plays you can’t remember
why you wanted to cry for months before
forget all the shit that made you feel
like this was the end of days
surrounded by lights, balloons, and the luckiest little boy in the world
it’s time to be alive
chanting voices singing closer to the edge
religious and orgasmic at the same time
one night gives you the strength to push through
and reminds you that we are the kings and queens
of promise and that we are all children of a lesser God
between heaven and hell
Chanel perfume
bright pink lipstick
dvds unsigned
time to be alive
allowed to feel joy
for just this one night
with people you love
who understand that thirty seconds
is so more than just half a minute
and mars is so much more than just a planet
a state of mind
a state of being
seeing magic before your eyes
in a room full of people who understand
that lyrics and melodies can touch you like nothing else can
treasure the moments you spend
in a room full of people who understand
that it’s time to be alive

Amy Outland’s poem “Running” was published in The Insomniac Propagandist: Ruminations of an Expatriate.

This has been the fourth installment in our series of Contributor Spotlights, highlighting the talented artists and writers that were published in our first volume of TIP.