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.

Afaa Michael Weaver


“I assemble things to maintain a place in my creative thinking, a little like stumbling around in the undergrowth of a slightly wild place.

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Preeta Samarasan


“When my writing stagnates, I do occasionally turn to fiction for motivation or inspiration: I might read a favorite passage, say, the epilogue to A. S. Byatt’s Possession, or a random page of Bleak House. But I’m actually much more likely to read poetry—Yeats, Eliot, Auden, e.e.

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H. L. Hix


“I find it easier to follow form to content than content to form (forgive the false dilemma), which means I depend on discovering an essential rather than an accidental relationship between the two

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Martha Ronk


“Baffled by my obsession with writing about objects both in poetry and fiction, I discovered The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects by Peter Schwenger.

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Rishi Reddi


“When I despair about my work, I dig out a book that I discovered years ago in college: Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write. Her essays explain how creativity in any form—writing, planting a garden, starting a business—is crucial for leading a good life.

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Adam Braver


“Go to a museum. Not to find ideas or to seek inspiration from what hangs on the walls, rather to be in a place that’s purpose is for responding to art and artistic thought.

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Robyn Schiff


"When I’m stuck in a poem it usually means my engagement with the subject is lacking intensity, and instead of fully entering the material, I feel like I’m at the doorway tentatively knocking in that lazy way we do when we don’t actually want to be admitted.

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David Francis


“When I get stuck, I walk to the cemetery and sit by the grave of Polexenia Velicu, on the seat where I wrote my first chapters of The Great Inland Sea. Or I lie in the grass beneath the cypress tree with Grandma Caroline Hidden, as if I’m a sole surviving relative.

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Nami Mun


“When reading Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles, I get the sense that a very short movie lives inside each sentence.

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