What I write is not for little girls.
All I write about is what’s happened to me and to people I know, and the better I know them, the more likely they are to be written about.
Jazz is very important. It’s not something I can put my finger on. When I’m writing at my favorite time, I like to have the gentle side of Coltrane or Brubeck on the CD player. It creates sort of a spiritual space in which I write best.
I write and have done so primarily for personal pleasure.
I undertake the same project as Montaigne, but with an aim contrary to his own: for he wrote his Essays only for others, and I write my reveries only for myself.
I write longhand; I make changes longhand, and I have an assistant who types it up. She lives 70 yards away. Every afternoon, I have a case I leave out on the porch, and she brings it back the next morning.
Sometimes I feel as if I am read before I write. When I write a poem about my mother, Palestinians think my mother is a symbol for Palestine. But I write as a poet, and my mother is my mother. She’s not a symbol.
It’s still scary every time I go back to the past. Each morning, my heart catches. When I get there, I remember how the light was, where the draft was coming from, what odors were in the air. When I write, I get all the weeping out.
No one touches me when I write my story, unless I hire you to or I allow you to.
I write as a way of keeping myself going. You build your life around writing, and it’s what gets you through. So it’s partly just curiosity to see what you can do.