where the writers are

Favorite Books

I have reread collections of favorite authors, such as Robert Lowell, Stephen Dunn, Theodore Roethke, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Other books I have kept revisiting are comprehensive collections: Shakespeare, the Complete Works, edited by G.B. Harrison; Immortal Poems of the English Language, edited by Oscar Williams; The Voice That is Great Within Us, edited by Hayden Carruth; The Poetry Anthology, 1912-1977, edited by Daryl Hine & Joseph Parisi; Ideas and Forms in English and American Literature, edited by Homer A. Watt and James B. Munn; and Twelve Centuries of English Poetry and Prose, revised edition by Howard Judson Hall. These books have opened me to the possibilities of poetry and have been useful references, not always the most enjoyable reading.

What I'm Reading

I read established literary journals that I'm interested in submitting work to, such as Poetry and New York Quarterly. I also read and support the new magazines with missions of publishing writers who take risks while respecting the traditions of literary excellence. I believe that poetry should address urgent global issues, so I look for upcoming anthologies with environmental subjects and anti-war themes. My tastes include prose poetry, short fiction, plays, and novels, especially if the work expresses language poetically and reveals the forces of human nature that must be understood to bring about a better world, such as in Coetzee's novel, Disgrace.

Favorite Authors

Many authors who have influenced my writing have also remained favorites. I often revisit Stephen Dunn, Mary Oliver, C.K. Williams, Yeats, Louise Gluck, Rilke, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke, Wislawa Szymborska, Billy Collins, Hart Crane, Frederick Seidel, Anthony Hecht, Galway Kinnell, Robert Bly, Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, John Berryman.

Influences

The lyrical roots of my writing were nurtured by Hart Crane, E.E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, W.B. Yeats, and by the classical music my father listened to, especially Chopin's etudes, preludes and nocturnes. My university studies and teaching profession led to a growing interest in psychology. As I evolved a more narrative style, variations on conceptual themes found in jazz music and in the work of certain poets and fiction writers influenced me. I found affinity in the work of the so-called "confessional" poets, and more recently in the work of Stephen Dunn, Mary Oliver, Robert Bly, Derek Walcott, Philip Levine, Frederick Seidel, and others.