I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry it would be filtered through the lens of race sex and age.
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.
Without imagination we can go nowhere. And imagination is not restricted to the arts. Every scientist I have met who has been a success has had to imagine.
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.
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.
I see a resurgence of interest in poetry. I am less optimistic about the prospects for the arts when it comes to federal funding.
I try to show what it is about language and music that enthralls because I think those are the two elements of poetry.
Instead of trying to come up and pontificate on what literature is you need to talk with children to teachers and make sure they get poetry in the curriculum early.
Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
The poetry that sustains me is when I feel that for a minute the clouds have parted and I’ve seen ecstasy or something.
There are distinct duties of a poet laureate. I plan a reading series at the Library of Congress and advise the librarian. The rest is how I want to promote poetry.