How did you first engage with poetry?
I wanted to be a teacher when I was small but only because I loved paper and pencils and all of the paraphernalia associated with writing. In the fifth grade, I wrote a poem called ‘The Spy’. It had about ten 4-line stanzas. The teacher liked it so much she made copies and passed it out to the class. I wish I still had it. I was an introvert and liked holing up in my bedroom to write, away from my six siblings. I was very shy so writing was an outlet. I had notebooks full. And then our house burned down. That was my first book review. I always say poetry chose me. For instance, I tried writing my book Related to Loon: a first year teacher in Tuluksak, in prose, as nonfiction. That attempt stalled me for years, but when I took those pages and turned them into poems, I had a rough draft in one winter.