No matter what brings someone into a poetry workshop class, any kind of writing that they do thereafter is going to be improved by the discipline in poetry and the price that poetry exacts from the poet and the increase in his word-sense and his intuition for verbally-dramatic situations and the rest of the things that poetry brings to the highest point. In other words, if anyone has a background in poetry, if he takes it seriously enough, if he takes the writing of poetry seriously enough, then any other form of writing is comparatively easy.
– James Dickey, in an interview with Don Swaim in 1987
It is as though the words were not only indelible but that they spread out like dye in water and color everything around them. A strange and mystic business, writing.
– John Steinbeck, Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters