Category: underlined passage

“Poetry is a space where we have the responsibility to acknowledge the power of language—all the violence it is capable of, all the tenderness it is holding, and our need to reach forward toward new language at the same time we are returning to older language, so we can carry one another best.”

Natalie Diaz, in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2020)

“‘The strongest fish is the one that swims upstream.’ Rejection’s gift is that it gives us something to push against, a necessary pressure that can help a writer sharpen focus, define vision, and accept (and perhaps even relish) the discomforts required to make work better.”

Grant Faulkner, in “Rejection’s Gift: Divine Dissatisfaction” in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2020)

“Writing a book isn’t all that complicated, it turns out. You just sit down in whatever bits of time you can find, and you put words on a page. You do it, day after day, until the pages pile up, until your thoughts coalesce into ideas, and your ideas begin to sort themselves into themes.”

Margaret Renkl, in “5 Over 50″ in the Poets & Writers Magazine November/December issue; read the rest at!

“I’m sixty, but it doesn’t matter. The book took twelve years, but it doesn’t matter. There is no correlation between those numbers and the work’s resonance.”

Timothy Brandoff, in “5 Over 50″ in the Poets & Writers Magazine November/December issue; read the rest at!

“Poetry should be in the middle of the civic discussion of what’s going on in this country.”

Reginald Dwayne Betts, in “Name a Song,” a conversation with Mahogany L. Browne in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“As I accumulated more experience of the world, I sometimes found I had to explain myself and my home to others, putting a complicated place onto maps where previously there’d been almost nothing at all. I became interested in the role of telling about a place, in talking back from the periphery to a more central cultural power, and in questions about who gets to make art and from what. The book sprang in part from a desire to sustain and express fascination for overlooked spaces and in part from an obsession with the complicated way we wed the power of storytelling to ourselves, our identities, and our communities.”

Krista Eastman, in “The New Nonfiction 2019″ in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine

“For my novel, there was a lot of world-building, during which the story evolved. There comes a point for me with any kind of research, be it historical or technical or about other cultures, when I have to let go and trust that I’ve sufficiently internalized what I need to know such that the relevant details will organically find their way into my scenes. It’s like taking the tea bag out of the water when it’s steeped just the right amount. Then it’s time to write.”

Lisa Gornick, in conversation with Christina Baker Kline in “Historical Fiction: The Pleasures and Perils of Writing About Other Eras” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“I had no idea what I was doing most of the time I was writing this book. I’m frankly shocked that I managed to write a book with ‘propulsive tension.’ It definitely didn’t come easily. Most of what I write starts with a premise. I love a strange or unsettling premise, love the words what if.”

Miciah Bay Gault, on her debut novel, Goodnight Stranger, featured in “First Fiction 2019″ in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine

“I don’t see myself as a success story even though I’ve experienced success. Everything I learned along the way was a strength. If I didn’t have my communities, that many consider broken or forgotten, I wouldn’t be where I am. I don’t want to be a sob story or anybody’s project. I want to show that you can have pride no matter where you come from and joy without forsaking the pain it took to get here.”

Ocean Vuong, in a profile by Rigoberto González in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“It’s a numbers game, folks. The more you try, the more you succeed. The less you try, the less you succeed. This is true for everything. If you write more, you will write better. If you think about line length more, you will think about line length better. If you submit more, you will publish more. If you submit better, you will publish better.”

Camille T. Dungy, in “Say Yes to Yourself: A Poet’s Guide to Living and Writing” in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)