He (Sam Hazo) doesn’t believe writing is so much a willed activity as an “inescapable response to an impulse or idea or inspiration that demands to be put into words with the writer merely the indentured servant.’’ Sorry, I just had to bold this. It just resonates so much.
Sam Hazo, former poet laureate of Pennsylvania, founder of the International Poetry Forum, quoted in an interview by writer Brian O’Neill in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette January 11, 2015.
Sam Hazo is an amazing poet and essayist, too many honors to list. I love his work and just recently bought his most recent retrospective collection And the time is, Poems, 1958-2013 This definition of our impulse and reasons to write is probably most closely akin to my own that I have actually heard expressed by a writer of today. He is 86, still vital, active as a poet and playwright, still part of the current poetry community here and in translation. I have worked with him as he worked with my students and me on several occasions several years ago. He remains a friend and a mentor. He was kind enough to read my manuscript and write the critical comments for my book, Spent. I think maybe many writers here in our online community of writers may relate to what he says here. Actually, I think this also applies to a number of the arts in different ways. But for us writers, it seems almost like a perfect description of our own experiences as we write.