EXCERPT FROM THE INTERVIEW
My father usually corrected anyone who mentioned the Statue of Liberty; he would say, “The statue’s proper name is Liberty Enlightening the World.” That title informs my work as a poetry teacher and a citizen. It is a reflection of America’s artistic and intellectual aspirations. Intellectual is not a bad word. America needs to arrive at a place where everyone feels the value of curiosity and knowledge. Asking questions, of ourselves and of one another is part of democracy. Enlightenment is pursuit, even the pursuit of happiness. Poetry can provide starting points for inquiries into history, architecture, relationships… it’s inexhaustible, as a form, a search, and a pleasure. I never tire of it.