This is where I share some of my own inspirations - poems, books, shows, podcasts. Anything and everything I can recall that has shaped me as a writer so far. I offer affiliate links, so if you would like to purchase them, you can do so from here at no additional cost to you. The majority of them are worth owning, but there are many that I borrowed from my local library. Feel free to do the same.
If you have questions, feedback or would like to connect I'm on instagram as @alongcameapoem
1. Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward.
I want to start with the first poetry collection that I ever read cover to cover - Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward.
I heard her speak one random Saturday morning while I was driving to the airport. She was on some NPR show that was a rebroadcast of some BBC show. Point is, I was mesmerized by her from one short poem in this collection. It was the first time I had read a collection that I felt was actually speaking not just to me, but about me.
If you are a fan of this work, you can also check out The Terrible an autographical piece with the same observational poetic voice.
Here is one of my favorite pieces from that collection, read by the author - Mental Health.
I really wish I could have met Mary Oliver before her passing in 2019. I got so much from this particular collection. In my mind she is this whimsical wood nymph who takes your hand and walks you through the wild, pointing out all the things you wouldn't know to notice. She is the patron saint of nature poems in my opinion and much of my own work is informed by her straightforward style, if not her subject matter. One of the pieces I keep returning to is Black Oaks which speaks to a lot of anxiety about trying to make a career of your passion. A feeling I wrestle with on a regular basis.
BOOKS ON WRITING
1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
If I could only read one book on writing, it
would be this one. She does a great job of talking through a lot of the anxieties you go through in making the transition from a reader to a writer. It's difficult to cut yourself slack when you can't write to the level of your own taste starting out. It takes time and patience to gather the skill to be the kind of writer you may see in yourself. This book gives you the tools to forgive your shortcomings while continuously putting in the work to build that muscle, and connect to your muse in a healthy way.