TAGGED FOR THE BOOK MEME: Cherryl Floyd-Miller tagged me to answer these questions, which I have to pass on to five more bloggers. A survey like this is a great way to see how other poets and writers tick.

One book that changed your life: The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton. Discovering her work as a teenager in the 1980s was a watershed for me. Her words shaped my future as a poet and taught me the lesson that going too far is never enough. So, I keep pushing the boundaries of how I write, the subjects I write about and how I put those words before an audience. I'm an unabashed confessional, careerist, queer poet.

One book that you've read more than once: Written on the Body, Jeanette Winterson. I return to this beautiful book again and again for inspiration. The poetic prose, the precise language...sigh. Heartbreak has never sounded so elegant.

One book you'd want on a desert island: Underworld, Don Delillo. This massive tome is one of the best chroniclings of the ills, fears and dreams of the 20th century ever put on paper. The last chapter, where the nun dies and becomes part of the world wide web, is awe-inspiring and intensely moving. The opening of her mind and heart as she discovers the world and its infinite pleasures is haunting.

One book that made you laugh: Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris. Both David and sister Amy crack me up. The dry, biting humor and the clarity of his writing is always a pleasure to read.

One book that made you cry: The Hours, Michael Cunningham. So sparely written and the interplay between the three women is beautifully realized. The novel is not nearly as histrionic as the film, which makes it all the more devastating.

One book that you wish had been written: Harper Lee's second novel. Maybe she has written one (or 10), but we may never get to read it.

One book that you wish had never been written: Anything by Ann Coulter.

One book you're currently reading: Until I Find You, John Irving. I'm embarrassed to say I've been slogging through this monster for nearly a year.

One book you've been meaning to read: On Beauty, Zadie Smith. I think White Teeth is one of the best books of the last half of the century, and I've been remiss in not picking this up.

Okay, now it's time to tag: Jenni, Montgomery, Sam, Tania and Ayodele.


i <3 anne sexton. i wish they'd make a movie about her. 'fur' starring nicole kidman as diane arbus opens this fall. i can hardly wait.
Collin said…
Me, too. I always thought Sigourney Weaver would make a great Anne Sexton
natalie portman would make a good young sexton.
M. Ru Pere said…
or Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sexton in the 70's. . . but who could be Maxine K? I'd vote for Patricia Clarkson even tho she looks not a bit jewish - and yah, On Beauty - I'm so waiting for the paperback rollout - but I've already done the homework Zadie suggests - read Howard's End, a book that now might be my answer to several of those questions
Thanks for the tag. Interesting questions.

Underworld is on my list as well.
Fuck You Google said…
Hey Collin.

Those are a lot of great recommendations. I'll definitely check some of that out.
jenni said…
great list!!

and yikes! ive been tagged!

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