What poets changed the way you thought about writing?
Oh, so many — I could almost say that just about every poet I read does this for me, although a few immediately jump to mind.
Pablo Neruda provided me entry into lush language, the kind that expresses a passion for life and the details of the world at large, from a love of socks to the beauty of beasts in the wild. He makes me want to infuse my own words with the same level of passion.
Erasure poetry is a significant part of my practice, and I credit Mary Ruefle with revealing the technique to me. Her book A Little White Shadow presents a beautiful erasure of a nineteenth century books, which pretty much made my head explode when I first read it. It allowed me to re-examine what poetry is defined as.
Ron Padget introduced me to humor in poetry. He often plays with language in his poems, just delighting in the sound and texture of the language.
And then, there’s Laura Madeline Wiseman. As collaborators, we simultaneously write and edit pieces, and so I’ve been able to witness her process and how she approaches language. I find myself continually learning and expanding how I work with words through these interactions. I feel as though I’ve grown significantly as a poet since we’ve started working together.