I was tagged by a friend (Rebecca Clever, editrix over at Blast Furnace) on Facebook to do this popular meme of ten books that changed my life. I have actually never made a list like this before; I've avoided it, thinking it an impossible task. The rules for the meme were to dash it off; don't think too hard, etc. But instead I really put some effort into it, wanting to see where it would take me.
So here's my desert island 10. I ordered them chronologically, from when we first "met." I'm approximating here, but I would say this list starts in 1986 and ends in 2013. I was in sixth grade when I got Writing Down the Bones and probably in seventh grade when I got the giant Sexton volume. These books are still changing my life. I come back to them over and over. They made the list b/c they illuminated a new way of writing, thinking, or, in the case of alphabetica, doing art. I've taught from six or seven of these books. Composing this list actually made me feel more grounded in my creative self... so thanks Becca. I should probably put them all on one shelf so I can swoop them up in case there's a fire.
1. Natalie Goldberg. Writing Down the Bones
2. Anne Sexton. The Collected Works
3. Neil Gaiman. Brief Lives
4. Susan Wooldridge. poemcrazy
5. Stephen Kuusisto. Planet of the Blind
6. Paul Guest. The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World
7. Alison Lurie, Ed. The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales
8. Lynne Perrella. alphabetica
9. Mike Northen, Ed. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability
10. Jeff Pethybridge, Striven, the Bright Treatise