Mark Yakich is the Gregory F. Curtin, S.J. Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, where he is also editor of New Orleans Review. His most recent books are Poetry: A Survivor's Guide (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Spiritual Exercises (Penguin Poets, 2019). He is also co-director of Poetic Advantage, a seminar and workshop for business leaders and managers. Mark was a Fulbright Fellow in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lisbon.
As a deep and serious thinker, Andrew Lustig opined about his ideological role models: “the people who I admire and I considered teachers are people who are always complicating issues, who are always answering with ‘well, you know, it's complicated’ or you know, ‘on one hand, but on the other hand.’ Taking those serious questions as his foundation, he uses that as fodder for creating real and imaginative works of poetry.
Not only does the long-view, slow and steady marathon-style perspective serve the process of creativity in general and for writing poetry more specifically, but even more so, it aids in the ability to stay committed to a 7.5 year long text study where you don’t let perfectionism get in the way. Out with the old expression of “practice makes perfect” and in with the new of “practice makes better.”