"Then William and I drank a lot of whisky (while celebrating the Scottish poet Robbie Burns) and found ourselves talking about Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman and its main character, Aaliya, who ran a bookshop in Beirut. Several days later we met for lunch and William said: “Let’s not just talk about opening a bookshop, let’s actually do it.”
"For me there’s no distinction: when I’m writing poems I am interested in what they do both visually and aurally. They are ‘page pieces’ in that I think you need to see them on the page to see everything they’re doing with respect to line breaks and form. But yes, they are spoken pieces, too, and I do speak them aloud as I’m drafting and revising. My hope is that my poems can be chewy and interesting on both levels."
“[S}ometimes the location and the plot are completely linked, and in other stories there is a moment that occurs in a specific place. In the former case, I begin with the setting. The rooms or the roads propel the people toward doing what they do. The places are like enablers. In the latter case, the narrative zooms in on something which lets me see what a character is capable of doing next. This sometimes surprises me.”