“I think lines of poetry come to you whenever they come. You could be waiting for the dentist and suddenly you’ll get an image or a line and you write it down. I write on the backs of envelopes, parking tickets—whatever I have at hand because you cannot lasso the muse.

I really believe you can’t force a lot of this. Now, I passionately believe in revision, and that you have to try to write in a disciplined way as much as you can. But I do think there are moments that you suddenly get something, given to you as a gift from the imagination, and you have to honor those moments as well.”  

CAROL MUSKE-DUKES, former California Poet Laureate and professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California