What poets changed the way you thought about writing?
Warsan Shire definitely- I suspect her poetry is quite autobiographical and I felt like reading her work about motherhood and woman gave me permission to write the feelings that I carry on the same topic- sentiments which aren’t always very welcome, or very easy to read (or write).
I love the simplicity of Lucille Clifton- her words are never contrived, her poems never overdone. The are understated, because what she says is so important, and her economy makes her work so much more meaningful.
And Roque Dalton- I how his poems volley between playfulness and flirtation, to burning intensity and desire, to powerful political and social advocacy. I love that he wasn’t afraid to let his poetry showcase all the different facets of his personality.
And I love what multilingual poets like Tanya Huntington, Manuel Iris and Andrés Piña are doing with language! Reading their work was eye-opening to me, and my collection “Cajoncito” wouldn’t have been written without it!
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