Students often have such a lofty idea of what a poem is, and I want them to realize that their own lives are where the poetry comes from. The most important things are to respect the language; to know the classical rules, even if only to break them; and to be prepared to edit, to revise, to shape.
I define poetry as celebration and confrontation. When we witness something, are we responsible for what we witness? That's an on-going existential question. Perhaps we are and perhaps there's a kind of daring, a kind of necessary energetic questioning. Because often I say it's not what we know, it's what we can risk discovering.
I grew up in Jerusalem and went to school here. I studied at the Hebrew University - mostly Islam and Arabic: Arab literature, Arab poetry and culture, because I felt like we are living in this region, in the Middle East, and we are not alone: There are nations here whose culture is Arab.