On his internship at Hungry Mind Review: "I loved it. Even just sending out tear sheets and doing intern stuff, standing at the fax machine faxing ad rates to publishers virtually all day. I loved it! I got to be there. I miss that place still. There was something special about that corner of Macalester and Grand. It was the hottest literary corner in the Upper Midwest, and I got to be part of it for a while."

On the importance of poetry: "I think there's a misconception that poetry is supposed to be all about beauty. Of course it's about beauty, but the other side of Keats' equation was truth. It's about ugliness and lies and falsehood and putting on voices and masks. It's about history, and uncovering things."

On James Franco's forthcoming collection, "Directing Herbert White": "It's a serious book of artful language about what it means to watch somebody, and what it does to someone to be watched."

On James Franco himself: "I may be the only guy in America who knows James Franco best as a poet."

On Shotts' sons, age 4 and 2: "I've doomed my sons to some literary or mythological fate by naming them Beckett and Griffin."

Laurie Hertzel