As much as we love each other, there is some growing difficulty in my adult relationship with my father. Because we’re both writers, we’re having a very intimate conversation in a very public forum.
Having a child is sowing the seeds of your own obsolescence: birth is the fuse that leads to that other thing. You appear, you replace yourself, you die.
I think the biggest thing that I have to do is to remind people that poetry is there for us to turn to not only to remind us that we’re not alone – for example, if we are grieving the loss of someone – but also to help us celebrate our joys. That’s why so many people I know who’ve gotten married will have a poem read at the wedding.
To me, charity often is just about giving, because you’re supposed to, or because it’s what you’ve always done – or it’s about giving until it hurts.
I think people turn to poetry more often than they think they do, or encounter it in more ways than they think that they do. I think we forget the places that we encounter it, say, in songs or in other little bits and pieces of things that we may have remembered from childhood.
Actually, I think most people accept the existence of qualia.
Describing passive violence in this culture is kinda like someone who is drowning in the middle of the ocean giving you the low-down on water. The only way you can really understand passive violence is by going somewhere far, far away from phones, news, TV, the Internet.
The idea of a pseudonym had been flitting around my brain for a long time, along with its cognate, disappearance. In the 1980s, I published some poems under a pen name in a literary magazine to see what it would feel like. It was fun. It was even a little thrilling.
My own journey in becoming a poet began with memory – with the need to record and hold on to what was being lost. One of my earliest poems, ‘Give and Take,’ was about my Aunt Sugar, how I was losing her to her memory loss.
If getting a contract was relatively straightforward, writing fiction was far harder than I could have imagined, and there were moments during the long and torturous edit process when it seemed that ‘Zulu Hart,’ the first of the trilogy, would never be fit for public consumption.