Playing Off the Double Five

Saeed Jones has a great post where he shares a list of poetry and non-poetry books that have shaped his writing. The conversation moves forward with other writers contributing their own group of influences.

To keep the dialogue going, I offer is my own list plus a bonus list of readings that have changed my writing.

Books of Poetry that Have Influenced My Poetry (in no particular order)
1. Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe edited by Miguel Algarín and Bob Holman
2. Martín & Meditations on the South Valley by Jimmy Santiago Baca
3. Alabanza: New and Selected Poems 1982-2002 by Martín Espada
4. The Latin Deli by Judith Ortiz Cofer
5. Poeta en San Francisco by Barbara Jane Reyes
6. Sonnets from the Puerto Rican by Jack Agüeros
7. Poeta en Nueva York by Federico García Lorca
8. Smoking Lovely by Willie Perdomo
9. The Iceworker Sings and Other Poems by Andrés Montoya
10. Life According to Motown by Patricia Smith

To Understand My Writing Understand These Books (in no particular order)
1. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop : A History of the Hip Hop Generation by Jeff Chang
2. Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
3. In the South Bronx of America by Mel Rosenthal
4. A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca
5. Drown by Junot Diaz
6. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
7. Miles by Miles Davis
8. Last Night a DJ Saved My Life by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton
9. Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
10. The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman

Live Poetry Readings That Have Shaped My Poetics (in no particular order)
1. Open Mic at “a lil bit louder” (Bar13, NYC) August 13, 2001
2. Martín Espada at the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase (Bruckner Bar & Grill, the Bronx) October 13, 2005
3. Jimmy Santiago Baca at the Alameda Juvenile Justice Center (San Leandro) and the Cesar Chavez Library (Salinas) November 6 & 8, 2008
4. Robert Bly, John Hammond, Alan Kushan, Elizabeth Bassford, John Rodriguez, Raymond Daniel Medina, Mara Jebsen and Abena Koomson at the WORD Festival (Lehman College, the Bronx) October 25, 2003
5. Nathaniel Mackey and Hafez Modirzadeh at the deYoung Poetry Series (deYoung Museum, SF) September 7, 2007
6. In The Grove: Pákatelas, Book Release Party and Homage to Andrés Montoya (Arte Américas, Fresno) April 10, 2008
7. Willie Perdomo’s Smoking Lovely book release tour (Various venues throughout NYC) October-November, 2003
8. The National Poetry Slam 2002 (Minneapolis, MN) August 13-17, 2002
9. Amiri Baraka at the Holloway Series, Lunch Poems, and Cave Canem/Poetry for the People readings (UC Berkeley) October 31 & November 1, 2008
10. Pink Pony West featuring Oscar Bermeo and Rich Villar (Cornelia Street Café, NYC) August 26, 2005

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.