David Allan Evans – Train Windows

When I first read it in 1993, I recognized what I was striving for in my own poems. The former South Dakota poet laureate’s debut collection confirmed for a much younger me that I could be a poet.

Robert Bly – Selected Poems

Bly is one of my earliest influences, with his leaps between the physical and spiritual, connected with a bit of the surreal. Selected Poems gathers the best of his early work.

Li-Young Lee – Rose

I fell in love with Lee’s poems about his father the first time I read this book. The poems have so much power but are somehow delicate at the same time.

Naomi Shihab Nye – Red Suitcase

I met Naomi Shihab Nye when she read for a program at my public library in the mid-nineties. She was personable and approachable, genuine like her poems. In Red Suitcase she puts personal stories in a global context.

Brian Turner – Here, Bullet

Turner’s poems from the war in Iraq. He gives a clear-eyed account of his experiences as a soldier, but he neither overtly endorses nor condemns the war. He simply lets the poems tell their stories.

Eric Lochridge is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Born-Again Death Wish, Real Boy Blues, and Father’s Curse. His poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, Okay Donkey, Slipstream, Ghost City Review, Vamp Cat, Dark Marrow, and many others, as well as anthologies such as WA 129 and Beloved on the Earth. He lives in Bellingham, Washington. Find him on Twitter @ericedits.

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