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The idea of avant-garde art is a very suspicious thing to me, the idea that poetry is new and it keeps being new the way Chevrolets every year are new.
The great watershed of modern poetry is French, more than English.
The fact that something is in a rhymed form or in blank verse will not make it good poetry.
The decision to write in prose instead of poetry is made more by the readers than by writers. Almost no one is interested in reading narrative in verse.
The Black Mountain poet I like most is the early Creeley. Those early poems seem very lyrical and very traditional, with a lot of voice and character.
The best books of our times have included the three mature volumes of Philip Larkin. They're very short books of poems, and very carefully arranged.
Teaching writing over the years intrudes on your own writing in important ways, taking away some of the excitement of poetry.
Southern poets are still writing narrative poems, poems in forms, dramatic poems.
Some people want to call me an Appalachian writer, even though I know some people use regional labels to belittle.
Some people swear by writing courses, but whether it really helps American poetry, I have doubts.
Pound's translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the most important thing I read. Eliot a little bit later.
Poetry, almost by definition, calls attention to its language and form.
Part of what we love about poetry is the fact that it seems ancient, that it has an authority of ancient language and ancient form, and that it's timeless, that it reaches back.
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