What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?
Everything! Kidding—but I think it’s difficult to let each poem navigate its way between lyricism and forthright articulation of its concerns, especially in the revision process when the first draft flush of discovery has worn off a bit. How to attend closely to the particular crisis of the poem and listen to it so carefully that we discover—let the poem discover—its deepest formal logic, to use Dan Beachy-Quick’s terms? I find myself often asking if I’m really revising toward that in a poem, or if in fact I’m just using craft to stay away from the most sensitive pressure point at the heart of the piece. There also comes a point I’ve learned to recognize late in the book drafting stage when I sort of hate everything about the manuscript. That’s usually when I know a book is almost done, but it’s hard to look at the massive amount of work and all the pages and think it wasn’t a waste of time. That’s when I know it’s time to probably let the book be done so we can both move on to other things, but then it becomes especially hard to go back and engage with the manuscript both generously and critically to accompany it through its final stages. With a little luck, it becomes a chunk of my heart other people can read.