I loathe the trivialization of poetry that happens in creative writing classes. Teachers set exercises to stimulate subject matter: Write a poem about an imaginary landscape with real people in it. Write about a place your parents lived in before you were born. We have enough terrible poetry around without encouraging more of it.
In my life, I’ve seen enormous increase in the consumption of poetry. When I was young, there were virtually no poetry readings.
All poetry has to do is to make a strong communication. All the poet has to do is listen. The poet is not an important fellow. There will also be another poet.
As I grew older – collapsing into my seventies, glimpsing ahead the cliffs of the eighties, colliding into eighty-five – poetry abandoned me.
You’ve never seen a Columbine done by a black child. Never. They always say, ‘We can’t believe it happened here. We can’t believe it’s these suburban white kids.’ It’s only them!
I’d heard of writers who say they hate to write. Not me. I love to do it.
For better or worse, poetry is my life.
I have to do draft after draft… It takes me a long time, but I love doing it, and I have to do it every day, or I feel slack.
Sound had always been my portal to poetry, but in the beginning, sound was imagined through the eye.
I live in the house my great-grandfather moved to in 1865… I spent all my summers here as a kid haying with my grandfather, and it was my favorite place in the world.