Student: How do you get inspired?
Ashbery: I used to wait around for inspiration when I was your ages, but realized I wouldn’t get very much written if I had to wait. So, as the years have gone by, I’ve trained myself to get along without inspiration and it seems to work just as well.
Student: Did you enjoy an active imagination as a child?
Ashbery: Yes, I used to invent cities and people as imaginary citizens. I would do this on the beach where I grew up, on Lake Ontario, where I’d build sandcastles or houses. I used to make large maps on big sheets of cardboard and put on all the names of the cities and towns. I remember one country where the capital city was Murielsville because of a little girl I had a crush on in grade school. The population was something like 8,957,000. She had the most population of any of the cities.
Student: When did you realize you wanted to pursue the life of a poet?Read More