Answers to questions from an elementary school student in Tempe, Arizona:
Thank you very much for your letter. I am happy to answer your questions.
I like being an author very much. I have always known that I would write, no matter what kind of job I got. Writing was just inside me. To get paid for a job you would do anyway is a double joy.
I have been writing since second grade, although in second grade it was called "daydreaming." Writing, in the beginning, has very little to do with putting a pencil to the page; it has more to do with simply thinking about things in new ways. Of course, that sometimes leads to trouble! But it also leads to good things. I started publishing my writing when I was still in college at the University of Arizona.
I have written and published hundreds of separate poems and stories. I have published seven books of poems and short stories. My work has also been translated into many other languages, including Spanish, Italian, and Russian. I have also published many essays.
I am a Professor in the English Department at Arizona State University. I teach courses in creative writing and literature. I especially like to teach courses in creative writing and Latin American literature.