26 July 2007

Clearing out the cobwebs.

Jeannine asks:

Which ten books are the books that have inspired the most writing from you? The books you read that you couldn't wait to put down so you could write afterwards? These aren't necessarily your "favorite" books, but the books that have helped you generate the most new work. If you are a poet, they do not have to all be poetry, they can be fiction, non-fiction, etc.

Here's my list, which takes the "it can be any genre" clause quite seriously.

Teen Guide to Homemaking--Jeanne Hayden Brinkley (Early edition, found in attic of 2615 Alexander upon moving in. Images had profound influence on me throughout adolescence. I still think about this book. Creepy as hell. Named my undergrad poetry thesis after it.)

The Man with the Golden Arm--Nelson Algren (Just can't shake it.)

"How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction and Began My Life Over Again"--Joyce Carol Oates (Short story. When I used to get stuck writing poetry I'd read any page from it, then pow.)

Them--Joyce Carol Oates. (One of my favorite novels.)

Anna Karenina--Tolstoy. (Must be the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation.)

Jesus' Son--Denis Johnson. (I get tired of students trying to imitate him, but he really struck me at a time when I needed him. Not Him, mind you. Denis Johnson.)

"The Lady with the Pet Dog"--Chekov. (Once somebody called my poems Chekovian, and I have never been the same since.)

Ariel--Sylvia Plath

Howl and other poems--Allen Ginsberg

Lunch Poems--Frank O'Hara


Penultimatina said...

Sheesh, I sound like some kind of fiction writer in that list...

Amanda said...

I'll tell you, sister, fiction and non-fiction press more buttons for my poetry writing than poetry, so I wouldn't worry about it!

jessica said...

p.s--is the address to reach you the same on the saint m. series? i have a new mix for you that will make your treadmill/weight regime explode :) hehe. in poetry goodness of course.g

Penultimatina said...

Amanda, what a comfort to know that I am not alone! I don't know what it is...

Jessica, that's the address. Thanks so much! I'm going to look like Lou Ferrigno in no time--every girl's dream. ;)

jeannine said...

Good list! Hmm, I wish I could give you some good summer journal suggestions too: tried Zzyvia, American Poetry Review, or A Public Space? They all read during the summer...