If you're feeling bold, answer Question 14 as a comment on my blog.
1. What's the last thing you wrote?
Besides a blog post? I’m working on a poem about the BP oil spill.
2. Is it any good?
No. It’s hard for me to write about something as it happens. I haven’t found that nugget to shift this massive event into poetry. It’s a work in progress.
3. What's the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
I have my undergraduate poetry project from Toi Derricotte's class at ODU, about 12 pages—a mini-chapbook—from 1987. Yikes!
4. Favorite genre of writing?
Seriously? Poetry, but as a reader I also enjoy essays and memoir.
5. How often do you get writer's block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. But I do have periods where I have trouble getting started. I've learned over the years that the only way out is through.
6. How do you fix it?
I go to poetry books and figure out how others worked their way through the rough spots. Usually, I’m looking for a word or a way to transition. And if it’s a line I can’t fix, I’ll take out the line to see if the piece as a whole works without it.
7. Do you save everything you write?
8. How do you feel about revision?
It’s a necessary evil. I don’t like revision but it’s part of the process. I try to remain open to new possibilities but I often feel that my first draft is the best draft.
9. What's your favorite thing that you've written?
Favorite poems, “Sex and Pizza” and “How to Make a Crab Cake,” both in Underlife, because they display my best skills as a writer. For me, these poems are about craft, not sex or food.
As for blog posts, this is my favorite: The Marketing of Poetry. Again, this is me combining together two ideas rarely mentioned together in the same sentence.
10. What's everyone else's favorite thing that you've written?
Depends on the day: “Early Memory,” “Service,” “Night Work,” “Poem About Nuts.”
11. What writing projects are you working on right now?
I’m working on a second manuscript with a long poem as its centerpiece, multiple interviews, a book review, and a screenplay on Anne Sexton (currently simmering on the back burner).
12. What's one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
I’ve never written a screenplay, so writing dialogue is daunting. I have a feeling, however, it will never see the light of day. And that’s fine. This project is just for me.
Never say never, but fiction is not on my radar screen.
13. Do you write for a living?
Yes. I am a senior writer/editor at the No. 1 school for entrepreneurship in the world.
14. Quote something you've written, the first thing to pop into your mind.
"Start with your own hands/the small bones of the hands/moving toward the inlets of the fingers." From "How to Make a Crab Cake."