I was appointed Poet Laureate. It came totally out of the blue because most Poet Laureates had been considerably older than I. It was not something that I even had begun to dream about!
Have you ever heard a good joke? If you’ve ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you’re already on the way to poetry. It’s about using words in very precise ways and using gesture.
It’s unfortunate that sometimes in schools, there’s this need to have things quantified and graded.
I’m a night person. My best times are midnight to six, actually.
It’s the combination of the intimate and the public that I find so exciting about being poet laureate.
It really wasn’t until I was in college when I began to write more and more, and I realized I was scheduling my entire life around my writing.
I didn’t know writers could be real live people, because I never knew any writers.
It makes me furious to hear haters of all skin colors – especially Christian, Jewish, and Muslim fundamentalists – deride other people because of their different beliefs and lifestyles.
You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.
I thought, after the Pulitzer, at least nothing will surprise me quite that much in my life. And another one happened. It was quite amazing.