Kingston has written some mighty serious books over the years, and now, at 60, she's kicking up her heels and enjoying the fun of wordsmithing. "To Be the Poet" is her "manifesto."..Kingston pillages her past and plunders the future, assembling a slim volume that's deeply observational and disarmingly witty.--Burl Burlingame"Honolulu Star-Bulletin" (09/22/2002)
I have almost finished my longbook, Maxine Hong Kingston declares. "Let my life as Poet begin...I won't be a workhorse anymore; I'll be a skylark." To Be the Poet is Kingston's manifesto, the avowal and declaration of a writer who has devoted a good part of her sixty years to writing prose, and who, over the course of this spirited and inspiring book, works out what the rest of her life will be, in poetry.