"The making of poetry is something of a freak show. The poet must understand empathy - the process of becoming but not totally becoming, identifying with someone but not being so wrapped up that they can’t imagine a way out. As a young poet, I was worried that I was exploiting people and their lives - that they’d see themselves in my work and be offended. That was my hubris. I thought I was writing them, but I wasn’t - I was writing poems. I have absolutely no ability to reproduce these people in poems. Poems have shape and form. Their lives do not. A poem is not what a person is. - Kwame Dawes"