In my book The Conversation: Learning to Be a Poet, I write:
“To be a writer, one must be a questing reader, forever seeking closer intimacy with the art; and talking about the details of that art, whether in actual conversation or merely to oneself, can lead a reader down unexpected imaginative paths. The three actions are entwined; one leads to the other, leads to the other, leads to the other. Even if you think of yourself as more reader than poet, more teacher than reader, participating in all elements of the reading-conversation-writing cycle will help you become a more concentrated and flexible apprentice to the art.”
As a teacher, I believe it is my responsibility to help students become flexible, curious, committed readers even as they strive to become better writers. The classroom is an opportunity for creative growth and also civil engagement with ideas and emotions outside our own experience. I work to foster intellectual curiosity and emotional honesty, an engagement with both the world and the necessary solitude of the artist.
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