Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector

I keep saying that my favorite book is Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” but it’s not–Agua Viva is. The fragmentary recursiveness and sheer will to live through writing, to *be* writing, are just astounding.

Rose Mellie Rose by Marie Redonnet

I live this book in my core. Check out the rest of Redonnet’s trilogy, including Forever Valley and Hotel Splendide, the most depressing book I’ve ever read.

China Cowboy by Kim Gek Lin Short

The originality that Short displays in form while having so much fun with her characters is breathtaking. Plus Loretta Lynn!

Talking Dirty to the Gods by Yusef Komunyakaa

My first poetry mentor, Vince Gotera, introduced me to Komunyakaa’s work while I was an undergraduate at Northern Iowa. There is a gravitas and sensuality to the work that I hadn’t experienced before.

The Meat and Spirit Plan by Selah Saterstrom

Saterstrom is probably tired of me loving on her work, but some books stay with you no matter what. This is one of them.

Brandi Homan is the author of the novel BURN FORTUNE (CLASH Books, 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction, and two books of poetry, Hard Reds (2008) and Bobcat Country (2010), from Shearsman Books.

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