"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.”
"I know that poems—writing them, reading them, sharing them—can sometimes extend my sense of the possible in ways I then carry into imagining and enacting more tender paths through the many horrors of now. I do not think that poets or poems are unique in this work."
“[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.”