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1. When it comes to writing, poetry was my first love. I started writing poems as a very young girl. Often my books begin as poems and evolve over the long writing process into prose.

2. In my attempt to convey to the reader what it might have been like to live under such challenging conditions, I thought poetry might be an ideal way to subtly key the reader into the importance of every word and every action. It felt essential to cut out anything extraneous, to include only what was absolutely necessary to tell this story and give it a lean but credible shape.