Hey! You showed up! I didn’t think you would.
Well, I almost didn’t when I heard you were doing the interview.
I’m not that bad…we go way back, after all! I think of us as brothers, almost twins.
Says you. I already have an identical twin, thank you very much. Come on, let’s get this over with.
All right, all right, anything you say. So: for most of your career, you’ve published poetry and literary essays. But now you have two books out, companion pieces, one a book of poems, House of Fact, House of Ruin, while the other is a book of long form journalism, The Land Between Two Rivers: Writing In an Age of Refugees. About ten years ago, you began to write these essays, in part about refugee issues in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. And you’ve also written about the situation in Libya just before the second civil war broke out a few years ago, as well as your trip to Iraq just as ISIS was establishing itself in the region. Can you explain how a poet came to write about these issues?