I tell people I never got to hear Dylan Thomas read because my husband wouldn't let me, because he thought it would be a sort of bad influence. People say, 'And you didn't go?' They're so surprised because the me they know would have gone. And I say I was very much a 'yes, dear' wife.
I didn't learn much about writing at Sarah Lawrence, but I learned a lot about the sources of poems - dreams, myth, history - from the really great teachers, Joseph Campbell, Charles Trinkhaus, Bert Loewenberg, and a young Australian anthropologist named Harry Hawthorne.
I wrote poetry off and on in high school, when I could manage to get out of gym classes and sports - using my allergies as an excuse - and climb the hill behind school till I found a nice place to settle down with a notebook and look at Spokane spread out below.
I began writing poems when I was about eight, with a heavy assist from my mother. She read me Arthur Waley's translations and Whitman and Robinson Jeffers, who have been lifelong influences on me. My father read Keats to me, and then he read more Keats while I was lying on the sofa struggling with asthma.