Kristin Howe

I was about seven or eight when I saw Harriet the Spy for the first time, and I was mesmerized. I thought I wanted to be just like her, to carry around a notebook and write down everything I saw. And, I always have a notebook, but the thing is, I’m not curious enough for journalism. Pen and paper have always served me as tools for expression, not documentation. Poems are these little snippets of consciousness with no rules or boundaries—they are so interesting in that way. Little islands of words that no one necessarily needs to find or escape from. In a 1962 essay, A Comparison, Sylvia Plath compares novels to poems, and more or less concludes that poems don’t have time for toothbrushes. I’d say that’s how I approach my writing.