If you’re a poet, you will experience an intense personal engagement or sense of vocation, but from the perspective of poetry out in the world, you’re just a medium for generating more poetry out in the world.
The idea of having to prove my intellect is a trap, and one I wasted a lot of energy on as a younger writer, student, and person in the world—which is no accident. It’s an illusion that distracts and dissuades me from creating my best work.
I don't know when a campus novel was not a social novel. I think the idea of all campus novels are that colleges are kind of test tubes for life, constructed realities in which people who are transitioning from being children to adulthood are put in a small society.
Joyce was a prophet in a way, and one day we may finally be able to fully grasp what he has to say. But for now we have Arroyo to hold our hand as we peruse our illustrated version of this impossible masterpiece.
When I read by myself, I take a lot of shortcuts. I don't think through things. By reading with people, by expressing observations, by watching people react, I've been thinking through a lot of topics about War and Peace more thoroughly.
They're not always glamorous words, they're not always the most superficially eloquent words. But these words have within them some density of feeling, and of desire, and of failure, that therefore become what we want to call poetic.