There’s not a thing about this process that comes easy. I sweat and suffer every syllable.

Who at this point in time can obliterate the tensions between feeling the utter necessity of poetry, and the near total disregard for its existence?

Clearly authoritarian states are afraid of even small, solo voices.

Like any writer, I want the writers that I like to read to like my work. And then I want really smart, unusual people to like my work. I want people that I’d want to spend time with to like my work. And I want strangers who are in very lost places to like my work. But no writer writes to that audience when writing.

C.D. Wright, Jubilat interview


However briefly I find myself in a strange place, I am intent on locating myself; where I came from at this point is portable; I carry it with me.

I’m fairly aware of the contradictions in my work and personality. I’m country but sophisticated. I’m particular and concrete, but I’m probing another plane... There are many times when I want to hammer the head. Other times I want to sleep on the hammer.

Words have served me, not just as descriptors, but as the medium by which I can transmit what I see.

Even though I get blatantly sick of poetry… I cannot for the life of me imagine my life without it. By extension, I wonder, how can anyone live without it. Poetry takes you into the recesses of the language, the neglected corners, cracks and crannies and to the big sky of wonder. It opens the door to a critique without which you have rather boring analytical tools by comparison. To cultivate poetry means to stay with it. Not to abandon hope, but to abide. There is an idealism associated with poetry I would not dispel but question. It doesn’t change anything except within. It shifts your insides around.

Part of what makes the music of the writing is silence. It’s attention to it and manipulation of it. It is another poetic tool, but also a pause, a place where reflective activity, one of the important functions of poetry, can be built in.

One of the hardest parts for a writer is fear. Fear about everything. Fear about the crack between the baseboard and the wall. Fear of the blank page. Everything. So, I’m not afraid of my shadow, but I’m afraid of the shadows. I know there’s no way over or under. That I have to go through it. I have to go all through the tall wavy grass, the cold, cold, dark river, the muddy ooze, through the cave, if I’m going to go on this bear hunt. So I just kind of surrender to that.