The greatest influence on the book as a whole, the form and the content, is poetry. I think that its form reflects itself as a series of exposed moments as opposed to a more traditional narrative that will lead you up to a moment and away from a moment, often with reflection. My concern was with illuminating that moment as directly and intensely as possible, and then feeling free to drop it with sort of an elliptical connection to the next scene, and let the reader do the work. That is one of many ways that poetry works for me … Emily Dickinson is in the book as well, and that’s on purpose. Emily Dickinson wouldn’t consider herself a Romantic, but I do. That’s her character. She’s someone who I see as a poet-soul, so to speak. It’s a word I often give to people who may or may not be artists, but who have this way, this hypersensitivity to the world, and this sort of lust and curiosity about it. I call them poet-souls.
-Stephanie Danler in interview here