Writers Recommend

In this online exclusive we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. We see this as a place for writers to turn to for ideas that will help feed their creative process.

Anya Johanna DeNiro


Whenever I get stuck I don’t go to one single thing to unlodge myself. I might shuffle through one of my tarot decks one day or clean some fossils. Reading poetry can also do the trick (lately: Jennifer Moxley and John Wilkinson).

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Diane Mehta


I record myself reading a poem while completing it, and in the process of the recording, I start singing. The goal isn’t to get the recitation right, but to bring song into the poem when it’s missing. This often gets me from one draft to the next.

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Tara Sidhoo Fraser


It was early June when my dad, who was also a writer, passed away this year. Sitting in the hospital weeks before, beneath the florescent lights, I read him a few chapters from In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan, which he had given me when I was a teenager.

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Halle Hill


When I wrote my debut story collection, Good Women, I had moments where I ran into walls of uncertainty and froze. At these roadblocks, perfectionism began to guide me rather than intuition or craft. I balked. I felt pressure to search for something missing, something extraordinary.

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Eliot Duncan


When I’m stuck, I let myself be stuck. I don’t put imperatives on how many pages I need to generate or what being a writer looks like. I’ve learned not to fixate on the stuck-ness. I allow myself the breath and time to simply not write. So much of writing to me is about patience and allowance.

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Joshua Burton


I sort of deal with obsessions when it comes to reading poetry and the creation of poetry. At any given time, I have a poem or two that I am drawn to on an emotional and sometimes ineffable level, in which I reread and return to the poem multiple times a week.

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John Fulton


In the early 1990s, I moved to Berlin, Germany, fresh out of a failed marriage, heartbroken and friendless.

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Amiee Gibbs


“I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees.” Perhaps no other lyric has enthralled and sparked my imagination more than Robert Johnson’s mournful plea in his song “Cross Road Blues.” When my debut novel, The Carnivale of Curiosities, was in its nascent stage, the first thing that I

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Monica Prince


It’s silly, but it’s honest: When I’m stuck, I play The Sims 4. Over the last few years, my academic job has stressed me to the point of stagnation in my poetry. I’ll sit down to write, with ideas and inspiration in my fingertips, and after an hour, nothing.

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Angela Peñaredondo


I am one who experiences frequent hypertensions and palpitations from a racing heart and mind, so I often find myself both activated and lost. Although these parts of me are quite realized and muscular, their speed and capacity to hold so much can feel staggering.

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