Donna Frazier

"My first glimpse of a real poet," Donna Frazier writes, "was in a lounge of a dormitory at the University of Colorado. I'd found my way into an open workshop with William Matthews, who spent much of every session reading to us. I remember sitting mesmerized, listening to Neruda's 'Ode to a Tomato'--so even the commonplace has this magic--and watching smoke drift from the end of another of Matthews' chain of cigarettes. Poets looked like wild creatures to me. I recognized something in that wildness. Became a journalist, kept writing poems, stopped writing, or so I thought until I realized that there were always poems in the never-ending notebooks. I write poems because I love, and because I'm alive, and because nothing else satisfies me as much as the great leaps of sound and sense that are possible in a poem. (At moments, it's that extravagant a feeling.) In the poem that looks like my life, I work as a ghost writer, just moved from L.A. to N.Y.C. and am working on a book about beginnings." E-mail: