Maggie Nelson – The Argonauts (Graywolf Press, 2016),
I laughed, I cried, I wanted to hold her words between my tongue and my teeth. Maggie Nelson has this incredible way of teasing out difficult, human topics through a mix of poetry and prose that I really hope to emulate in my own writing.
Camille Rankine’s poetry is so delicate, but cutting. Incorrect Merciful Impulses (Copper Canyon Press, 2015) is one of my definite must-reads whenever someone asks for precision poetry recommendations.
Jericho Brown has ghosts and music. His poetry gives you both.
Lamott’s book on writing, Bird by Bird, changed my life as far as writing process goes. I am not sure where I would be without the “one inch picture frame.”
This is easily the weirdest, oldest pick for me, but as a nineteenth century literature scholar, I have to put Henry James in here. His psychological realism and masterful use of language has been hugely influential in my own writing.
Jane Fleming is a PhD Student and writer living in Austin, TX. She is the author of one chapbook, Ocotillo Worship (APEP Publications, 2019) and two forthcoming full-length collections, Violence/Joy/Chaos (Rhythm & Bones Press 2020), and Reclamation (Chaleur Press, 2020). firstname.lastname@example.org