In an interview with Charles Simic in the Paris Review, Tate discusses how he approached poetry in his workshop days.
“I can remember standing in this great bookstore in Iowa City one day and I pulled a book of Elizabeth Bishop’s off the shelf. I think it was North and South. I stood there reading and reading and it just didn’t click. Nothing hit me. It took me quite a few years before I fell in love with her.” He calls this moment “a credit to his shame.”
Simic, Charles. “James Tate, The Art of Poetry No. 92.” The Paris Review, 12 June 2017, www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5636/james-tate-the-art-of-poetry-no-92-james-tate.