The creativity and craft of many poets inspires me. Among contemporary poets, Natasha Trethewey, Kay Ryan, Marie Howe, Tony Hoagland, and Laurie Ann Guerrero are some of my favorites. A few of those who are no longer with us but who continue to inspire me are Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, and Denise Levertov. Both these lists could be much longer.
My work tends more toward the lyric than the narrative. I enjoy writing formal poetry, though I am not strictly a formalist.
While my B. A. in English provided an excellent foundation in literature, my education in poetry has been largely outside of academia, I’ve benefited immensely from workshops with poets, among whom are Hoa Nguyen, Scott Wiggerman, Ellen Bass, Dean Young, and Susan Bright. A graduate course in poetry writing from the University of Iowa’s distance learning program and MOOCs including UPenn’s ModPo have also been invaluable, as has the feedback from the critique group in which I’ve participated for several years.