An interview with alumnus Matthew Luzitano (poetry, ’12) focusing on his poem “Cleopatra Recovered” appears at The Collagist:
As a writer, and for this poem specifically, what helps guide your decisions as to where lines and stanzas break?
I tend to break before surprises, not necessarily in a cheep “peek-a-boo” fashion (at least I hope it isn’t), but more to keep from lulling a reader. For example, in the third stanza “armadillos / with samples of their calcified scat—” breaks before a surprise. It helps weed out weak lines. If I go three or four lines and there’s nothing interesting to emphasize, I look to cut or lean that portion of the poem.
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