So much of my poetry begins with something that I can describe in visual terms, so thinking about distance, thinking about how life begins and what might be watching us.
I feel most alive, most electric with faith, breath, and courage, when I think of God as a current that runs through all that is. Not by will or by choice. Not as a benediction but because there are laws even God must obey.
A question is a pursuit, an invitation to envision and explore a series of possibilities, to struggle and empathize and doubt and believe. The question moves, whereas our sense of what an answer is can often be static, a stopping point.
I have kept journals at different times in my life. And a lot of my early notebooks became places where I would just think on the page, trying to parse what I was feeling, to find out what I was thinking.
For me, a poem is an opportunity to kind of interrogate myself a little bit.
I am keenly aware that in writing about my mother, I am writing about my aunts’ sister, and that in writing about my grandmother, I’m writing about their mother. I know that my honesty about how my view of these people has changed over the years may be painful.
Understanding the true causes of the Depression, as well as the real economic record of the United States in the 1930s, is an essential ingredient in anyone’s economic and historical education.
I feel like it’s a gift for any writer to be recognized like this.
I wanted to write the kind of poetry that people read and remembered, that they lived by – the kinds of lines that I carried with me from moment to moment on a given day without even having chosen to.
The Emergency Banking Act reached back in time to amend the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, which had originally been intended to criminalize economic intercourse between American citizens and declared enemies of the United States.