Andy Patton

It’s Not a Poem Until You Discover Something: An Interview with Scott Cairns

By Andy Patton

When I think of the most impactful conversations I have had, the one hour I spent talking about art and poetry with poet and professor Scott Cairns several years ago stands at the top of the list.

I can see now that some of my most cherished ideas about art and poetry—the importance of tradition, the necessity of discovery, the power of perseverance in the work, the fact that the writing life is just another way to live a normal life—were planted in me like seeds during this conversation. I want to share it now in hopes that Scott’s ideas will benefit you as much as they have me.

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