I grew up in Ohio, where civil-rights accomplishments had already begun to accelerate before Martin Luther King appeared. In hindsight, we know that many people, black and white, were instrumental in changing the Jim Crow status quo on all levels.
For many years, I thought a poem was a whisper overheard, not an aria heard.
I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry, it would be filtered through the lens of race, sex, and age.
There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.
Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
My father is a chemist, my mother was a homemaker. My parents instilled in us the feeling that learning was the most exciting thing that could happen to you, and it never ends.
Equality and self-determination should never be divided in the name of religious or ideological fervor.
I've always been intrigued by the way history works, the way we decide what is mentioned.
It makes me furious to hear haters of all skin colors - especially Christian, Jewish, and Muslim fundamentalists - deride other people because of their different beliefs and lifestyles.
The American Dream is a phrase we'll have to wrestle with all of our lives. It means a lot of things to different people. I think we're redefining it now.
Being true to yourself really means being true to all the complexities of the human spirit.
If we really want to be full and generous in spirit, we have no choice but to trust at some level.
You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can't imagine something that has never existed before, it's impossible.
When we are touched by something it's as if we're being brushed by an angel's wings.
I loved to write when I was a child. I wrote, but I always thought it was something that you did as a child, then you put away childish things.
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