Monday, February 1, 2016

Becca Lachman shares her Desert Island Books

After leading a terrific workshop in early January, poet Becca Lachman has sent us her list of desert-island poetry books—those must-haves that shape her life in many ways. She writes:

"To me, ‘desert island’ books means keeping my finger on the pulse of those poems and collections I need to look into my own life in order to encourage change, forgiveness, and transformation—basically, those major things that I often ache to see and read about in the larger world."

Not surprisingly, Lachman's list is emblematic of her respect and admiration for William Stafford. But all of the works here will strike chords deep within any reader.

"These are books that have changed me, have asked me to laugh more, and have asked me to look hard at my voice, privilege, and possibility," she says. "They are also books I keep going back to when I want to re-learn how to tell a story that matters through verse, a poem series, or even a table of contents."
  • Ask Me: Selected Poems, by William Stafford
  • Early Morning: Remembering my Father, William Stafford, by Kim Stafford
  • Sound of the Ax: Aphorisms and Poems by William Stafford, eds. Wixon and Merchant
  • Kyrie: Poems, by Ellen Bryant Voigt
  • Selected Rumi, Coleman Barks, translator
  • Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine
  • New & Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver
  • Dearest Creature, by Amy Gerstler
  • Ariel, by Sylvia Plath
  • The Dead and the Living, by Sharon Olds
  • Their Ancient Glittering Eyes, by Donald Hall (essays about poets and writers)

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