Tag Archives: good reads

Inspiration Reading List

20 Mar

Ever since I got back from AWP, I’ve felt inspired.  I have even started to make headway on what I think will become my third collection of poems.  It’s been almost five years (!) since I got my MFA from Bennington College, but I still practice their motto, “read 100 books, write one.”  I love this motto and find it so constructive and, yes, inspiring.  I actually began doing this in the semester before Bennington when I was working with Claudia Rankine on my senior honors thesis in creative writing.  Claudia made me an amazing reading list and opened doors to contemporary poetry that I never knew existed.

For my inspiration reading list for my new project, I have recycled some of these same books, added new ones, as well as books I’ve always meant to read, but never got around to doing so.  Here is my “right now” Inspiration Reading List:


Inspiration Reading!


What’s on my list:


1. A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith Edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler

2. Forth a Raven by Christina Davis

3. Voices from an Early American Convent edited by Emily Clark

4. Glean by Joshua Kryah

5. Death Tractates by Brenda Hillman

6. Bright Existence by Brenda Hillman

7. The Good Thief by Marie Howe

8. Pinwheel by Marni Ludwig

9. Two-Headed Nightingale by Shara Lessley

10. The Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe

11. Burnt Offerings by Timothy Liu

12. Start by Jean Gallagher

13. Stubborn by Jean Gallagher

14. Beautiful in the Mouth by Keetje Kuipers

15. On Looking: Essays by Lia Purpura

16. Assembling the Shepherd by Tessa Rumsey

17. The Wanton Sublime by Anna Rabinowitz

18. The Descent by Sophie Cabot Black

19. Dream of the Unified Field by Jorie Graham

20. To the Place of Trumpets by Brigit Pegeen Kelly

21. Trouble in Mind by Lucie Brock-Broido

22. Old and New Testaments by Lynn Powell


A few others that are on my list that are not pictured above: The Exchange by Sophie Cabot Black, Selected Levis, ed. David St. John, Elegy by Larry Levis, Autobiography of My Hungers by Rigoberto Gonzalez, An Ethic by Christina Davis, Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder, and A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet by Eavan Boland.


This extensive list will, I’m sure, keep me busy for a while!  What are the books on your inspiration list?  What books do you turn to again and again?  I’d love to hear your comments below!