By Rachel M. Anderson
(Woodbury, Minn.) – When a child is born, parents have great expectations. They look down on that tiny face and smile, knowing in their heart of hearts that their son or daughter is special and will accomplish great things.
Wolfgang Klein always knew his daughter, Evelyn, was going to be an artist one day. When she was a child, her father always had the sense she would leave lasting impressions on the world, not through woodcuts like he was known for, but in different ways and particularly through the words she put on paper.
“When I was in school I always enjoyed writing. It was always my favorite subject,” she said. “When I started teaching, whatever teaching materials I couldn’t find I wrote.”
While Klein had a knack for writing teaching materials for her students, it has always been the poetry reflecting her journey through life that has appealed to her the most. She credits her favorite author, Virginia Woolf, with leading her down that road. Pursuing a Master's Degree in the Teaching of English, she wrote her thesis, "Virginia Woolf: The Creative Vision."
“That was a door opener for me,” says Klein. “I studied her creative process and it gave me an ‘in’ on how to be a writer. Not only that, it was like she was talking about my life when I read her novels. There were so many parallels, especially in To the Lighthouse with the characters of Mr. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe.”
Woolf's stream-of-consciousness novel deals with the perspective and struggles of the artist, represented by Lily Briscoe, in her quest to succeed not only as an artist but as a woman in that field. Reading Woolf's novels and particularly her Writer's Diary, Klein gained insight into the artistic process as it is allowed to unfold.
Klein's latest book, Seasons of Desire, (North Star Press, September 2012, $14.95) represents a culmination of study and experience. A combination of essays, poetry, and art highlights the author's journey, exploring the psychological and spiritual nature of life. Immersed in memoir, observation and reflection, she seeks answers to puzzling questions.
“The book focuses on the fact that it is never too late to follow one’s dreams, to realize one’s potential, giving true meaning to the expression life-long learning and the realization of new goals,” says Klein, whose previous books include Once upon a Neighborhood, (North Star Press of St. Cloud, 2009), From Here Across the Bridge, (Nodin Press, 2006) and Stage Two: Poetic Lives, an anthology she edited and self-published in 1994.
Once upon a Neighborhood, which is now in the Minnesota State Historical Society’s permanent library collection, focuses on new beginning, while From
Here Across the Bridge, which won a cover award with the Midwest Independent Book Publishers Association, represents the realization of a transformation. Klein’s first publication, Stage Two: Poetic Lives, is an anthology to which she contributed and which she edited for an open poetry group at the Loft Literary Center. The title sold out quickly and is out of print.
Stage Two: Poetic Lives and From Here Across the Bridge contain artwork done by her father, Wolfgang Klein. Once upon a Neighborhood and Seasons of Desire feature her own artwork, as well as her poetry and prose.
“I grew up with parents who always encouraged me to be whoever I wanted to be. I have always wanted to write, so that’s what I do. I write for many reasons, among them, writing allows me to be creative, to communicate ruminating ideas, to explore, to learn, and to record. To enhance the writing, and because words are not always enough, I add my drawings,” says Klein. “It is now my fulltime occupation. Both of my parents were such good role models in so many ways.”
She goes on to say, "Growing up with an artist father left its mark on me in as much as a world without visual art is incomplete. My recent drawings for Seasons of Desire would have been no surprise to him, only substantiation of what he already assumed."
# # #
- end -