What I'm reading when I'm writing

Right now, it's:

1. The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales 
2. Transformations, by Anne Sexton
3. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks

 A lot of the poems I write are collages of what I'm reading. I'll take a few pieces from one book, a few pieces from another, and maybe even a piece from one more. Then I throw them into my poem-cauldron, stir them up a bit, and those chemical reactions create a new poem-story. Familiar characteristics are recombined to make a new whole.

The list of books above are helping me with a poem that re-imagines the classic Grimm tale, "The Maiden Without Hands." Key to this re-vision of the traditional story is what I learned from reading the title story of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Scientific anecdotes are, by far, my favorite way into the writing of a poem.

Research is such an essential (not to mention, fun) part of the writing process. Whatever I'm reading ends up becoming a part of what I'm writing. 


  1. I just finished Philip Pullman's 'Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm' - have you read it? It's a retelling of 50 Grimm tales with tiny snippets of commentary afterward. Bite-sized reading enjoyment!

  2. Oooo! I have NOT read that one yet. But it sounds like a fabulous combination of things that I love. I'll be looking into that! ;)


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