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Neil Carpathios shares his Desert Island Books

On Saturday, October 10, 2015, at Otterbein College, Neil Carpathios provided those who attended the OPA quarterly business meeting and workshop an inspiring afternoon of poetry. His focus was on how to make your poems more original, and how to make them stand out in the crowd. 

Creating delightful, surprising poetry is something Carpathios does well. He has three books of poems:  Playground of Flesh (Main Street Rag), At the Axis of Imponderables (winner of the Quercus Review Press Book Award), and Beyond the Bones (FutureCycle Press). He also is the author of several award-winning chapbooks and recently was named the winner of the 2015 Slipstream Press Poetry Competition for his collection, The Function of Sadness, which will be published in autumn of 2015. 

In keeping with the dictum that says, to be a good writer you must be a good reader, we asked Carpathios to provide us with a list of the ten books he would take with him if he were stranded on a desert island. Here is his list. 

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez--"Masterpiece of magical realism exploring time, history, and family."
2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman--"Poems that celebrate the entirety of existence in the face of life's brevity."
3. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius--"Self-reflections that convey the stoic philosophy."
4. The Oxford Book of Aphorisms--"Intellectual small bites to whet the mind's appetite."
5. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard—"Memoiristic essays on the natural world, perception, and spirituality."
6. The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker--"Nonfiction psychological and philosophical exploration of death in all its facets."
7. Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges--Short tales and fables by the Argentine writer that convey the immensities of time, the supernatural elements inherent in existence, and the sheer relishing of mystery in the world.
8. Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert--"Emotionally honest poems of passion for love, the erotic, the life of solitude and the mind."
9. New and Selected Poems (1962-2012) by Charles Simic--"Darkly humorous poems that turn the ordinary upside down and allow the reader to see alternate realities in the everyday."
10. Selected Poems of Rumi--"Mystical poems by the great Persian poet."

© 2015 The Ohio Poetry Association

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