Books That Matter.
I just discovered For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry (When Soul Food Isn’t Enough), the blog of poet Saeed Jones. One of his recent posts was a list of Books that Matter, and he’s also posted some responses he’s got from his readers. I thought this was a pretty sweet idea, so here are my Books That Matter. I really hope you’ll tell me yours, too - whether it’s one book that particularly touched you or twenty that you think changed your writing. I’d really like to do what Saeed did and post your responses on the blog, so please do respond. I know you’re all reading - you need just to comment now and again!
Books that influenced my poetry:
Dreaming Frankenstein by Liz Lochhead // Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy // Ruin and Beauty by Patricia Young // Nine Horses by Billy Collins // The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy // The Boy Who Taught The Beekeeper To Read by Susan Hill // The Unswept Room by Sharon Olds // Another Country by Jane Griffiths
Books that taught me things I didn’t know about poetry:
Why I Am Not A Painter by Frank O Hara // Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg // Somebody, Somewhere by Alan Gillis // Kaddish and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg // The Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes // Love is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski
Wow… that’s weird. All my ‘teachers’ are men, and all but one of my influences are women. What does that say?
Tell me your lists - which books made you the poet you are? Which books changed your poetry, influenced your poetry, or helped your poetry? Which books matter to you? (Don’t forget to check out Saeed’s blog!)