A Poet’s Story

By: Caitlin Hayes,  Cornell Research
Sun, 09/18/2016

“Poetry is about language being as complex and as beautiful as it possibly can be, all at once,” says Alice Fulton, English. “It isn’t to convey facts or information. It conveys something that is beyond words—you can’t ever unpack everything in a good poem because the language is inherently slippery and purposefully layered.”

This depth may be why poetry has been used over centuries to address the topics that require it: love, death, grief, and the experience of time. Fulton, author of seven books of poetry, a book of essays, and a collection of stories, found herself pointedly writing toward these deeper, more difficult themes in her latest book of poems, Barely Composed (W.W. Norton and Company, 2015).

“I think as writers get older, we have a sense of there being less time,” she explains. “Better stop fooling around with these little things and get it said. And it came out to be a book in the end.”

Read more about her work on Cornell Research