Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Crag Hill has tagged me for another list, this time the ten most influential books on my writing. I think Crag had poetry books especially in mind, but essentially one book influenced my poetry, but a lot more influenced the way I approach my poetry / general writing. So, to start,

The New American Poetry edited by Donald M.Allen
(this is a cheat, since by listing just this one saves me having to list the books within & without it which would include Lunch Poems, Coney Island of the Mind, Preface to a 20 volume suicide note, Riprap, For Love, The Maximus Poems, Ko or a season on earth, Howl, etc., etc.)

& since it by itself would constitute the most influential — the only (?) — book in/on/of my poetry, then let me list my next ten eleven twelve.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary

The Big Sleep — Raymond Chandler

Labyrinths — Jorge Luis Borges

The Einstein Intersection — Samuel Delany

The Ascent of Man — Jacob Bronowski

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions — Thomas Kuhn

Monkey — Wu Ch'eng En

Patterson — William Carlos Williams

The Name of the Rose — Umberto Eco

Kim — Rudyard Kipling

The Thief's Journal — Jean Genet

The Naked Lunch — William S. Burroughs

Apart from the last two named, which probably influenced my thinking more than my writing, that's the list of books that influenced the allegrezza ficcione which I consider to be my best book so far.

& the list doesn't include a number of other authors who should be in a list of writers who have influenced my writing like J.G.Ballard, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Albert Camus, a large number of SF writers including William Gibson,Fritz Leiber, John Brunner & Roger Zelazny, Dashiel Hammett as much as Chandler, Henry Miller, Samuel Beckett, Walt Whitman, John Rechy. & the list goes on…

Since this is something I'm actually interested in, let me now tag Martin Edmond (whose list I would especially be interested in seeing), Jill Jones & Bill Allegrezza.


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