Jane Satterfield: Sylvia Plath is an important poet for me, and I return to her work often as a source of energy and inspiration. I don’t see her just as the public figure defined by her last works and tragic suicide. Aside from the sheer power of her voice and vision, I was drawn to her by the deeper currents of social conscience in her lyrics (gender politics, concern for the environment). And I’ve learned so much from her in terms of musicality, syntactical control, pacing, and visual composition.
Jane Satterfield: It’s hard to pick favorites—I discover something new about craft with every new project. A favorite’s probably what I’m working on or have just finished—it’s a matter of enthusiasm for a technical challenge I’m puzzling out or relief in having just solved it!
Jane Satterfield: I share a lot of exercises with my students and a favorite is one I’ve often enjoyed myself—just taking out the scissors and scotch tape, following that old punk mantra: destroy to create. In this case, you do something that physically changes the look and feel of the draft you’re working on.
Jane Satterfield: When I became a parent, I learned to be more open to writing in different places. I have a nice desk in the upstairs study my husband and I share where my favorite books are within reach. I also write at a desk near our kitchen—a smaller workstation that was originally meant just for checking email. But it’s turned out to be a very nice spot—the sun floods the room all morning and I can jump up to make tea or I can haul my laptop into the kitchen while I’m cooking.