I probably like being isolated more than many people do, but I’m lucky to have the friendship of many fine people, and they keep me from becoming very isolated. The world of my mind is certainly a populated and warm place, too. It’s difficult for me to become too isolated with such resources.
For a person who grew up in the ’30s and ’40s in the segregated South, with so many doors closed without explanation to me, libraries and books said, ‘Here I am, read me.’ Over time I have learned I am at my best around books.
My work is all that I think about because I spent so many years not doing anything. Therefore, work pleases me, which is success in itself.
In so many ways, segregation shaped me, and education liberated me.
For many people, I was a phase, a part of the period of growing up. People ask me why I connected. It was presumptuous of me to say, but I’m Everyman. The difference is I put my thoughts into words.
Many poets write books. They’ll tell you: Well, I’ve got my next book, but there are two poems I need to write, one about x, one about y. This is a wonder to me.
I see my upbringing as a great success story. By disciplining me, my parents inculcated self-discipline. And by restricting my choices as a child, they gave me so many choices in my life as an adult. Because of what they did then, I get to do the work I love now.
And in a way, that’s been a help to me, because I take great passions for a particular poet – sometimes it lasts for many years, sometimes only for a while. This happens to everybody.
For me, the most important and distinguishing property of new media is interactivity. But how many people can actually create interactive games, animations, or simulations? Not very many. So, in my mind, very few people are truly literate with new media.
We are already so many things by the time we reach the middle of life that it is possible to see that really anything can happen, and that, by extension, anything is doable. I decided I’d write ‘The Calling’ as someone else. Another writer entirely, a fictional one who would be played by me.