Does a poem start with an image or with sound? In this interview Douglas Manuel and Tresha Faye Haefner ask Ellen Bass
about her writing process. She tells us about ways she uses an image to start a poem and her use of tools like sound to distract her "overly logical mind" while her more intuitive mind goes to work. When things don't go right the first time, though, she keeps trying, reorganizing syntax, talking with friends, etc. She tells the story of writing the title poem of her latest book, Indigo
by writing many "failed" poems first, and only being "successful" after seeing the right image one day while out walking. There are good reasons why poets need to get out, she says, even if they are hermit introverts.