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.

Joanna Smith Rakoff

8.5.09

“I’m the least athletic person in the world—the proverbial kid picked last for teams—so what I’m about to suggest is a bit strange

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Kristin Palm

7.29.09

“I am very interested in cities and places, and in having conversations with them. Research and lists are big for me. Often, lists I make become poems unto themselves.

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Dan Albergotti

7.22.09

“I loved that moment at the 2008 Oscars when Glen Hansard closed his acceptance speech with this exhortation to the world: ‘Make art.

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Ru Freeman

7.15.09

“I need to feel invested in life to write. So I dance to music that compels life into my body: any from the old hippie Broadway musicals

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Sally Van Doren

7.8.09

“The first and most visible source of inspiration for my poems is other poems. A less voluble influence is abstract art.

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Jessica Anthony

6.24.09

“To break from the heavy lifting of writing moderately vulgar dark comedies, first I will turn to Rimbaud’s Une Saison en enfer for some light reading. Then I will wander outside to see if there are any important public gatherings.

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Dave Reidy

6.17.09

“If you’re writing a book that no one is waiting for, buy the debut album of an indie band—not the latest darlings, but an underappreciated act

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Gina B. Nahai

6.10.09

“The best advice I ever got about writing was from Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, in which he talks about the writer’s need to be ‘willing’ to shut the door on the world for a few hours a day.

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Elizabeth Kadetsky

6.3.09

“Lately I’ve been listening to Homer’s Odyssey on CD. Listening to classics on CDs is a part of my yoga practice.

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Wayne Miller

5.27.09

“(1) Most important, I recommend patience—which I have to remind myself of all the time. So often, I get excited about a poem in progress and start to spin my wheels, which I do for a week or two until it’s time to set the poem aside.

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