I have been a slow-blooming writer working to find my voice and hone my craft for over thirty years. Initially, I worked exclusively in prose. Since 2007, I have been focused on poetry.
Writing for me is a recording of moments, a way to make sense of what I’ve felt, experienced, and lived. I write about journeys and seeking, serendipity and mistake, exile and home, abandonment and connection. I write in search of what I know but keep forgetting. I like to ask questions even though I’m fully aware there are no answers.
I love to play with words: their etymologies, sounds and shapes, their look on a page, the musicality of letter and syllable, phrase and line. I am fascinated by the constraints of traditional forms and the leaps they can encourage. I am drawn to unexpected juxtapositions. In the act of writing, I take it as a good sign when I am surprised.
Writing “in conversation” with an epigraph or even scraps of text from other poets and writers I admire—for example, Emily Dickinson and Alice Munro—is one of my go-to techniques for generating work. I also enjoy working with “found poems”; recently, I crafted a series from important speeches and essays by the likes of Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I look to poems—and literature in general—for insight and wisdom. To explain what it means to be deeply human and to remind me of universal connections to our shared humanity. Reading a poem remains, for me, a way to stop and find my breath.