Roger Ebert called the cinema an “empathy machine,” and all forms of art have that capacity. I’d say empathy, and outrage, are essential for writing. They’re as essential to writing as they are to living.
But talking about a function that applies to all my poems, or to make it mechanistic, it’s like how adults stress kids out by asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You know, hopefully each one of them gets some kind of gainful employment and doesn’t wind up with the first drip who’s got a Firebird? Each poem, hopefully, has its own drive.
- Stevie Howell, in interview with Kayla Czaga over at PRISM international. You can read the whole thing here.