For me, a poem is an opportunity to kind of interrogate myself a little bit.
I grew up in northern California in a town called Fairfield, which is kind of exactly between San Francisco and Sacramento, a small suburb. And I'm the youngest of five children.
So much of my poetry begins with something that I can describe in visual terms, so thinking about distance, thinking about how life begins and what might be watching us.
I work with a lot of young people who have poems that are changing their lives, that they're eager to talk about, but every now and then when I meet someone, maybe someone of my parents' generation, and I tell them that I write poetry, they'll begin to recite something that they memorized when they were in school that has never left them.
Brooklyn is kind of my writer's retreat.
One of my main wishes in wanting to write about my mother was to explore the impact of her death on my life, explore our relationship, think about the different versions of myself that I was with and without her. I also had the really strong wish to bring her to life for my children, who were born after she was gone.