OSSINING, N.Y. -- Alice Fogel has come a long way since her days at Ossining High School.
Fogel, who graduated from Ossining High in 1972, is the New Hampshire poet laureate and recently published a new book of poetry, "Interval: Poems Based on Bach's 'Goldberg Variations.'"
The book was recently honored with the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature. This is Fogel's fourth book of poetry.
Fogel said she was interested in writing about the structure of music and how music can represent something spiritual.
"I've been writing poetry all my life," Fogel said. "As a kid I wrote stories, but once I learned what poetry was, I wanted to keep exploring the way I thought about life through that form."
Growing up in the Hudson Valley helped influence Fogel's poetry. Fogel lived in Croton-On-Hudson before moving to Ossining.
"I grew up by the Hudson River, with the hills behind the sunset over the Hudson," Fogel said. "I have that whole landscape really embedded me. All of that area in Ossining is part of my sensibilities."
When it comes to writing poetry, Fogel said she likes to get herself into an altered state and focus inward.
"I let the images and languages start to move on their own volition," Fogel said. "Playing with words like playing with clay. Once I have my draft, I begin sculpting it and use my intellect to shape it and make sense out of it."
As poet laureate, Fogel is the ambassador of poetry for New Hampshire.
"I bring poetry to people and make them more comfortable with it," Fogel said. "I want to spread more poetry around the state."
Fogel said her book is influenced by music, visual arts, science and nature.
"I love scientific information that makes me ask why," Fogel said.
In high school, Fogel read poets like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickson and John Milton.
"I really pulled from all of them," Fogel said. "The way Whitman uses long vowels and long lines or the beat poets and their jazzy use of words."
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