Crystal asked Margaret Atwood:

There are fewer authors who have the ability to be recognized by the general populous, both as novelists and poets. I teach your poetry in my Literature Appreciation courses. I would love to hear your perspective on how you switch between the genres when writing and how you approach each. Is poetry more "pleasure" than work? Did you start with prose or poetry all those years ago? Thank you.

Margaret Atwood Hello: When I began, in high school, in1956, at the age of sixteen, we were not taught "creative writing." We were taught literature and grammar. So no one ever told me I couldn't write both, and I started out writing all the things I still write today: poetry, prose fiction – which took me longer to get published – and non-fiction prose. I don't switch deliberately; but when I'm working on a long project such as a novel, I tend not to write poetry. Then I may enter a phase in which I do nothing but. Possibly two parts of the brain are involved, but I suppose we'll never know...
Margaret Atwood

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