My writing is a searching, an exploring to see what comes out. I don’t feel like I can take complete credit for my writing, because at its best, it feels more like it comes through me rather than from me. It is simultaneously the easiest and the hardest thing I ever do. Easy, because the meaning seems just there, ready to be put on paper. Hard, because I am charged with finding the language and structure and word choice to make sense of it.

It was easier to believe I had less control with my fiction. In college I studied fiction, and most of what I learned about poetry was done on my own, as my professors all focused in fiction or non fiction. In fiction, I followed the characters where they needed to be. It took me a while to realize that the poem needs to be also. I have to follow where it is striving to go. Once I let go of the idea that I was in control, I could focus on the craft and metaphor and sound and structure and revision to frame the meaning. Because, when it worked, I was bringing together the seemingly incongruent, the seemingly juxtaposable, and finding, indeed making meaning.

I like it when a reader has a sort of epiphany when reading my work, that this idea or concept makes perfect sense and that maybe a part of them had known it all along. Even if the reader doesn’t agree with the message of my poem, I want them to see where I am coming from and be challenged to examine things for themselves rather than accepting the packaged meaning the world hands to them, tied in a bow.

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