Taking chances can sometimes lead to great art. But award-winning poet Carl Phillips says there’s a risk to, well, taking risks.

“I think there has to be a place for risk and for restlessness in any kind of fully lived life, and especially I think for an artist,” he tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “I think it’s the only way that imagination gets stimulated and continues — but I think it can easily go unchecked.”

His latest work, Reconnaissance, looks for the balance between restlessness and stability — and between the raw and the refined, the omnicient and the intimate.

It draws on his own experiences, but he resists interpretation of his poetry as autobiographical.

“I think of poetry as being more a transformation of experience rather than a transcription of it,” he explains. “I become uncomfortable when people want to make an equation between the author and the poem.”

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Links:

NPR | Carl Phillips

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