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.

Gina B. Nahai


“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.

read more

Elizabeth Kadetsky


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

read more

Wayne Miller


“(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.

read more

Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés


“Storytellers inspire me. I listen intently then let my imagination take over. Characters need to be fully rendered in my head before they make it into any story. I try to read new writers, but there are a few books I return to again and again.

read more

Patrick Somerville


“I’m teaching a class this term on Dirty Realism, the fiction movement that may or may not have existed twenty or thirty years ago, and my own syllabus has brought me to Jayne Anne Phillips's Black Tickets,

read more

D. A. Powell


“A good soak in a bathtub invigorates the senses, relaxes the muscles and allows the mind to wander.

read more

Leni Zumas


“Listen to the soundtracks of Giorgio Moroder. Visit the Rubin Museum of Art. Open to any page of The Mariner’s Dictionary. Sit in churches that watch over cities. Stand in trains that run under rivers.

read more

Sarah Manguso


“I am permanently inspired by Gavin McInnes’s book Dos and Don’ts: 10 Years of VICE Magazine’s Street Fashion Critiques.

read more

Joe Meno


“Mickey Hess’s self-published creative nonfiction masterpiece, Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory, was recently reprinted by provocative indie press Garrett County in November 2008

read more

Douglas A. Martin


“One of the most important books ever to me is the glorious New Directions Collected Poems, 1912-1944 by H. D.

read more