"The idea that poetry comes from beyond oneself is vital, as is the sense that one writes a poem in a condition that is often associated with a spiritual position, i.e., the condition of humility. One doesn't know what one's doing and is inspired in that respect. But it doesn't mean one's completely inert, or passive; rather it's just about allowing a poem to come from wherever it comes from and getting it into the world."
—Paul Muldoon, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Moy Sand and Gravel
"I feel my way into a poem. Ther is no topic that is taboo. And even if I were to avoid certain topics, they would return to me, beckoning, and demanding to be written."
—Yusef Komunyakaa, winner of the 1994 Pulitzer prize for Neon Vernacular
"There seem to be no deals you can make with poetry to entice it out of its lair. A poem, actually any writing, is always a private thing, and that is how I begin. It must have that secret source."
—Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient and 12 poetry books
"There seem to be no deals you can make with poetry to entice it out of its lair. A poem, actually any writing, is always a private thing, and that is how I must begin. It must have that secret source."
—Billy Collins, U.S. poet laureate, 2001–2003
"You have to pay attention to what's said and what's not said, and what's done and not done. And that creates curiosity. You go to that what if. And that what if takes you into the poem."
—Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor of English, Virginia Tech
We Hear You!