Preti Taneja Recommends...

“Some days I find it difficult to sit down to write; other days it goes well. Most days I will snag on an idea or get restless. At home, I work with books all around me—the ones nearest to my desk have been my companions for years, while the ones by the door are the newest arrivals. I’ll get up and pace my room, open a book at any page, read a line, and return to my desk ready to take on the clutch of words that I’ve already got down. It’s poetry, familiar or new, that I pick up most. Right now I am traveling. When I am not writing, I’m usually browsing in bookshops. I talk to booksellers, and a small pile of recommendations has risen on my hotel room table; they are on the journey with me. I open Tongo Eisen-Martin’s Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights Books, 2017): ‘And we feel that after sinking, / We will still be on top of the world…’ And then Anne Waldman’s Trickster Feminism (Penguin Books, 2018): ‘This time of membrane, of beauty, of woe. / People are equal, get ready.’ It works on my reflexes like a poke to the brain saying: ‘I’ll show you mine, now get on, and write yours.’”
—Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young (Knopf, 2018)