When I started creating my work for publication, I just assumed that the focus would be on the work itself and that there wouldn't be a lot of interest in who was creating the work.
America is remarkable, don't you think so? When I came to Washington, I was twelve years old. I spoke English with an English accent. It was assumed that it would go on in that way.
When I was growing up, I idolised my father. I thought his ghost followed me around the house. I had been told how he adored me, how I was funny, just like him. Because of our lovely Catholic upbringing, I secretly assumed that he would eventually come back, like our good friend Jesus.
I found I wasn't asking good enough questions because I assumed I knew something. I would box them into a corner with a badly formed question, and they didn't know how to get out of it. Now, I let them take me through it step by step, and I listen.
It was sort of assumed, from the time I was born, really, that I would go to college. That's sort of the way that Jewish families in New Jersey handled things; that was the norm.
Originally, theater was my life. It was what I assumed I'd spend my working life doing - if I was lucky. Then along came movies.
I think if you live in London, it's such a cosmopolitan city; nobody even notices different-race relationships. I assumed it would be even more liberal in the States, and it's totally the opposite.
Perhaps it is because I'm a writer trained in history that I've always assumed I would make mistakes in my drafts. Historians know how faulty human memory can be.
I think it's often assumed that the role of poetry is to comfort, but for me, poetry is the great unsettler. It questions the established order of the mind. It is radical, by which I don't mean that it is either leftwing or rightwing, but that it works at the roots of thinking.
I look back at all the contracts I've had, and I never assumed I would get another one. Honestly. I don't take anything for granted. Nothing.