I’m trying to learn something about making a balance between the inner life and the outer life. I wouldn’t write if I didn’t need to be making those discoveries, if I didn’t feel the perpetual ignorance of being a human being.
Teachers have been heroes to me, as well as artists and writers, and I’m honored to be among their ranks. There is always a lot of grousing about the academy. I suppose it comes from our all-American anti-authoritarianism.
I think you have to live inside your contradictions and find a way to accept that that’s the human condition – to be forced to live in contradiction.
We’re nature. Our minds are nature. Our desire to make poetry is nature.
It’s extremely important that, as writers, we give a voice to those who don’t have voices, including the other animals that we share the planet with and the places that are endangered or being lost.
Writers want recognition, audience, some corroboration that all those hours at the desk and in daydreams add up to something in the esteem of others.
I’m just really interested in the interface of the individual with the collective. I think that’s where the arts live.
The countries that are the least responsible for causing climate change are paying the heaviest price.
For the poets, my hope is that they will, quite simply, feel the obligation to be really informed about the situation in which we find ourselves, in terms of our imperiled planet. You should inform yourself so deeply that it becomes part of your nature, part of your voice.
I’m really interested in culture because it is such a powerful human force, particularly in America where we think it’s all about the individual.
I’m always doing poems from a place of not-knowing, a place of ignorance in a way.
For me teaching has provided community and livelihood and the satisfaction of passing along what I’ve learned to others.