People often ask me what writers have inspired me, or been models for my work, or simply bring me pleasure. I find it hard to answer, since I'm such a reading slut. I love writing and writers! And I love genres--so it's hard to rattle off my influences. But I thought it might be instructive and interesting for anyone who is writing a paper, who is looking for good reading, or who is getting a creer running, to try to make you some lists. But, you know, there's snow on the ground, and we're putting up our Christmas village (on cotton batting snowfields), and I'm trying to get this interview with Martin Espada worked out. But I will give you a list of POETS who have influenced me, taught me, changed me, or just pleased me. Read for pleasure, friends. It's like a sweet massage with aromatic oils. Later, I'll give you fiction and non-fiction writers. I can't get them all, but here goes:
A-- Anna Akhmatova, Yosano Akiko, Sherman Alexie, Alurista, A.R. Ammons, Jon Anderson, Antler. Homero Aridjis, John Ashbery. B-- Jimmy Santiago Baca, Basho, Wendell Berry, Robert Bly, Borges, Darrell Bourque, John Brandi, Richard Brautigan, Pete Brown, Charles Bukowski, Buson, Bobby Byrd, Byron. C-- Jim Carroll, Hayden Carruth, Raymond Carver, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Oswaldo Chanove, Ali Chumacero, Leonard Cohen, Stephen Crane, Robert Creeley, e.e. cummings. D-- James Dickey, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Dugan, Bob Dylan, E-- TS Eliot, Clayton Eshelman, Martin Espada. F-- BH Fairchild, Ferlinghetti, Carolyn Forche. G-- Tess Gallagher, Alan Ginsberg, Louise Gluck, Judy Grahn, Jay Griswold. H-- Marilyn Hacker, Donald Hall, Robert Hass, Han-shan, Jim Harrison, Linda Hasselstrom, Juan Felipe Herrera, Linda Hogan, Gary Holthaus. I-- Ikkyu, Issa. J-- Robinson Jeffers, Judson Jerome, Juan Ramon Jimenez. K-- Jack Kerouac, Gallway Kinnel, Etheridge Knight, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ted Kooser. L-- David Lee, David Lehman, Philip Levine, Lorca. M-- Antonio Machado, Edgar Lee Masters, William Matthews, W.S. Merwin, Gabriela Mistral, Jim Morrison. N-- Pablo Neruda, Naomi Shihab Nye. O-- Luis Alberto Ochoa, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, Onitsura, Simon Ortiz. P-- Jose Emilio Pacheco, Kenneth Patchen, Octavio Paz, James Atlee Phillips, Sylvia Plath. Q-- Uh... R-- Chip Rawlins, Adrienne Rich, Rilke, Arthur Rimbaud, Alberto Rios, Roethke, Bill Pitt Root, S-- Saigyo, Sheryl Saint Germaine, Sappho, James Schuyler, Gary Snyder, Soseki, Gary Soto, Kim Stafford, William Stafford, Wallace Stevens. T-- Lord Tennyson, Gabriel Trujillo. U-- V-- Mark Van Doren, Paul Verlaine, Tino Villanueva, W-- Diane Wakoski, Frank X. Walker, Wang-wei, Walt Whitman, Keith Wilson, Wordsworth, C.D. Wright, Charles Wright, Franz Wright, James Wright, Robert Wrigley, X-- Well... Y-- Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Z-- Daisy Zamora.

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