An interview with alums Shadab Zeest Hashmi (poetry, ’09) and Alicia Jo Rabins (poetry, ’09) appears on  the San Diego Writers, Ink website:

How does a poem come to you?

Shadab: Poetry casts its net when the unsayable offers itself, often triggered by a collision between a sensory moment and a feeling. It animates the abstract by appearing as a fine gradation of color, sound or scent, a sensation counterpoised against a memory. A poem comes to me as a sudden, partial illumination of the unanswered, perhaps the unanswerable, as experienced in music, or visual images of both the monumental and the intimate. A poem seeks to make its own lexicon, to attempt to define and describe the world as seen through the psyche’s filter.

Alicia: I think I once read a poet who said, when asked about his writing process, that there is always a poem floating past just over his head and he just snips both ends and brings it down. I’ve never been able to find that quote again, but I’ve often thought about it because it so exactly describes my experience of writing. It’s about sitting down to write and dipping into an existing stream.
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