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'I live in a town of twenty-five thousand citizens. A few of them know I write poetry. Some of them know what I write and like things that I write, but far fewer, including most of my students, read poetry. I sometimes think it odd that students who enrol to study literature inform me that they want to be teachers, but they don't like the act of reading or writing. That's their prerogative, and peer pressure and public dismissal of the arts and humanities conspire to encourage them to be philistine in their taste for a while, but it makes the business of encouraging them to see any merit in writing a challenging one.' (Introduction)