I worked privately, and sometimes I feel that might be better for poets than the kind of social workshop gathering. My school was the great poets: I read, and I read, and I read.
There is a way in which all writing is connected. In a second language, for example, a workshop can liberate the students’ use of the vocabulary they’re acquiring.
One of the workshop participants had shown me a single 8 X 10 photograph of a power plant where he actually was the general manager of this power cooperative. It was quite magical to me.
I tell my workshop students, ‘I want you to think of yourselves as artists. Then, when you’re writing, you’re painting, you’re crafting, you’re making a design, you’re sculpting, you’re creating choreography, sound, a sound script.’
I took a workshop from him a few months after that. That experience changed my whole approach to photography. At that workshop in Yosemite in 1973 I decided I wanted to try and see if I could pursue this for myself, and I’m still trying.