At the 2015 Poets Forum in New York City, Chancellors Alicia OstrikerAlberto Ríos, and Marilyn Nelson sat down together for a conversation about their current projects.

After her recent return to living in New York City, Alicia Ostriker discusses urban spaces and how they relate to poetry. “What do we do about our urbanity?” she asks, and goes on to say, “The poems find me, they haunt me, they make demands, they come knocking.”

Alberto Ríos has served as Arizona’s inaugural Poet Laureate since 2013, and his current responsibilities allow him to work with students across the state. He tells his students, “A dictionary is efficient. A poem is effective. You don’t need all the words in the world—you need the right ones. And they don’t have to be very many, but you need to be able to recognize them, and when you do that, that will be power.”

Marilyn Nelson has recently published two poetry projects for a young audience. She says, “They are obsessions, services to communities which have for the most part no voices. And because they are published as young adult books, they are also projects which have as their intentions both delight and teaching.”