Santa Monica, California, USA
Reading Robert Burns at age 13 got me hooked on poetry. It started out as a heritage thing -- if one was a Scot, one read Burns. Burns got to me. I then started reading everything I could get my hands on, and writing, generally in imitation of whomever I was reading at the time. Then, for my 17th birthday I received a present of "The Collected Works of Wallace Stevens." THAT shut me up for almost ten years by suggesting how little I had to say. I married, colleged, did VietNam, and then wrote again seriously for a few years before taking a 30 year hiatus.
I think it was VietNam that got to me. I didn't even want to talk, let alone write, but I continued to read, and hang out with folks like Alan Ginsburg, Diane di Prima, Peter Orlofsky, Ram Dass, and the revolving salad plate of writers, artists, and nut cases at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado, while growing flowers for a living.
I returned to writing poetry after getting some fresh validation from the world as writer -- of Saturday Morning Cartoon television scripts! I started writing "for real" again after my confidence had been restored. This was about eight years ago. I was 57.
You could fairly say I started writing poetry twice, once as a kid in New Jersey, and again as a proto-coot in California.
I'm enjoying the trip.