"I think of ‘poet’ as an identity, because it’s not like you choose it. If you’re any kind of a writer, you do it because you can’t help but do it."
— Jericho Brown, interviewed by Kendra DeColo for Nashville Review (via bostonpoetryslam)
"I know there is no straight road
No straight road in this world
Only a giant labyrinth
Of intersecting crossroads"
— Federico García Lorca (via noir-couplet)
"More and more I think there’s an element of fiction writing that’s performative. If you want your stories to carry a particular charge of feeling, you have to experience that feeling while you’re working. I don’t know that you can fake it, or at least I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to fake it, because the choices you make when you’re writing—the rhythms you adopt, the phrases you construct, the effect one word has when it’s nestled alongside another—are so highly nuanced, and have so much to do with the ultimate emotional effect of a story, so that if you aren’t feeling along with your sentences, your instincts will gradually lead you astray."
— The Rumpus Interview With Kevin Brockmeier
"I think that when I write a poem, in the most oversimplified but very honest terms, I am engaged in imagination. At least it is more parts imagination than it is reportage, or pure observation, or evaluation, or inquiry. So if I try to stay and build and learn in this realm, I feel I am responding to the inherent generosity of the hypothetical mode by populating it with kinder things, more empathetic listening. I’m attracted to the hypothetical world where things are, plainly, just less awful than in the immediate one. I want poetry to propose something better. I want it to create tangible, concrete changes in the ways we interact with one another."
— Wendy Xu, interviewed by Ben Seanor for Front Porch Journal (via bostonpoetryslam)
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
— Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
"Auden said a poem should be more interesting than anything that might be said about it. If you take the theme out of a poem and talk about that theme, there should still be some residual being left in the poem that goes on ticking, something like, why not say it, color, something that has an effect on your central nervous system. It is not what a poem says with its mouth, it’s what a poem does with its eyes."
— Mary Ruefle, from Madness, Rack, and Honey (via bostonpoetryslam)
"Language is wine upon the lips."
— Virginia Woolf (via larmoyante)
"What I hope my students have taken from my class are the foundation tools to go in whatever direction they want to go in writing and publishing. I hope that in my class, and in their other writing or literature classes, they’ve made friendships that they will have (and lean on more than once) for the rest of their lives. I hope that they understand that more than any other time, the publishing world is deeply interconnected, and you never know who you’re going to come across that will have a meaningful role in your work."
— Michael Nye, “Then We Came To The End of Another Semester” (via themissourireview)
"I am glad to have found a readership, but one can’t write only what is likely to sell. A writer is not a shopkeeper. A writer creates an imaginary world that he transmits to others."
— Tahar Ben Jelloun (via theparisreview)