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 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 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.