I think the most important task for a writer is to find their own voice and stick with it through thick and thin and be patient with it if it changes. Poetry takes time and patience and kindness. My view of life is that everything matters, and I try to explore this in my poems and essays and stories. How we can find ways to grow and get past difficulties. Coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s, I was taught by the confessional poet W.D. Snodgrass, who insisted I learn metrics. He emphasized the importance of knowing what I was breaking away from craft-wise, especially if I wrote free verse or in syllabic stress. The confessional poets began writing directly about the personal and about issues, civil rights, women’s rights, war and peace, most of all about the environment. I was a Syracuse University Graduate Writing Fellow at that time, and I am an organic gardener now, so I write about the land’s importance as much as possible. Adrienne Rich, one of the best contemporary poets of our time, tells us poetry is a dream of a common language for us all. I agree.
Palm Desert, California