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These conversations took place over a sixteen-year period starting in 1984. Each interview approaches the topic of poetry in different ways as David Elliott speaks with poets in multiple schools and styles. Some issues—the musicality of poetry, the process of writing, the relationship between the poetry and the life of the poet—are discussed by more than one writer, creating a kind of cross-talk between the poets. Interviews of ten American poets: W. S. Merwin, William Stafford, Robert Creeley, David Ray, Robert Morgan, Naomi Shihab Nye, Stephen Dunn, Lucien Stryk, Pattiann Rogers, and Marie Howe.”