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Perhaps first and foremost is the challenge of taking what I find as a reader and making it into a poem that, primarily, has to be a plausible poem in English.
Paris is a wonderful city. I can't say I belong to an especially anglophone community.
Of the individual poems, some are more lyric and some are more descriptive or narrative. Each poem is fixed in a moment. All those moments written or read together take on the movement and architecture of a narrative.
My mother was told she couldn't go to medical school because she was a woman and a Jew. So she became a teacher in the New York City public school system.
I've been an inveterate reader of literary magazines since I was a teenager. There are always discoveries. You're sitting in your easy chair, reading; you realize you've read a story or a group of poems four times, and you know, Yes, I want to go farther with this writer.
I'm addicted to email, but other than that, there are practical things - being able to buy a book on the internet that you can't find in your local bookshop. This could be a lifeline if you live further from the sources.
I worked at all kinds of jobs, mostly commercial editing.
I wonder what it means about American literary culture and its transmission when I consider the number of American poets who earn their living teaching creative writing in universities. I've ended up doing that myself.
I try to write everyday. I do that much better over here than when I'm teaching. I always rewrite, usually fairly close-on which is to say first draft, then put it aside for 24 hours then more drafts.
I think there is something about coming to a city to work that puts you in touch with it in a different way.
I started to send my work to journals when I was 26, which was just a question of when I got the courage up. They were mostly journals I had been reading for the previous six or seven years.
I lived in the studio apartment that I bought for four years before I bought it in 1989, so I was already in it. I began living there in 1985, so I've had the same address and phone number since then.
I don't think it's by accident that I was first attracted to translating two French women poets.
Being A Man
Never Give Up
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