Tuesday, March 17, 2009



Joaquin Carvel Lyrics & Maladies tagged me!
I’m to list 25 writers who have influenced ME - as a writer. This is harder than I thought it would be. Like Joaquin, I don’t know where admiration ends and influence begins – or the other way around.
I will divide my list into 12 novelists and 13 poets. The novelists have certainly inspired me in many ways, affecting my writing in one way or another; or their works have influenced my thinking in some way. The poets listed are the poets I read consistently, on an everyday basis. There are many more poets whose work I admire and read – but, for this exercise, I have chosen the top 13 who, I feel, have “taught” me how to write and have given me an appreciation for poetry. – They have most definitely enriched my life with their excellent verse! Honestly, this was hard. I feel guilty about the ones I left out. There are many! ;(
I’ve mixed modern day with historical poets.
Well, here goes! I worked for a couple of hours just paring down the list! They are in no particular order of importance.

The novelists:

1. Somerset Maughan
2. Ann Tyler
3. John Steinbeck
4. William Faulkner
5. Pearl S. Buck
6. Tennessee Williams
7. Flannery O’Connor
8. Conrad Richter
9. Hans Christian Andersen
10. Robert Louis Stevenson
11. Eudora Welty
12. D. H. Lawrence

and the poets...
13. Ruth Stone
14. Walt Whitman
15. William Shakespeare
16. Charles Baudelaire
17. Hart Crane
18. John Keats
19. Theodore Roethke
20. Ted Kooser
21. Jane Kenyon
22. W.H. Auden
23. May Swenson
24. Marianne Moore
25. William Carlos Williams

And now, I am instructed to tag 3 people!
Karen Keeping Secrets
Bob Browning Life and Times of a Sometime Poet
Catherine Vibert Witnessing a World of People and Places


Anonymous said...

Ah, Tennessee Williams--one of my heroes!
This looks like fun.

Aniket said...

Gosh... this list only tells me... how much I haven't read till now. Sigh...

And excellent choice at Tags K. :)
I'm eagerly waiting to see what they come up with! :)

Karen said...

Narrowing to 25 must be really difficult! You have quite a varied list. I would probably not have thought of Hans Christian Anderson, but I certainly see the magical qualities in your work.

While we share several favorites, you list a couple of poets with whose work I am unfamiliar. So now, I have someone new to read!
I'll get started on a list, but already, I'm thinking about how tough this will be...

Dave King said...

I've just commented on this to say that 25 seems a lot of influence for anyone to be aware of.

Linda S. Socha said...

K Lawson

Please stop by Psyche Connections and pick up a well deserved award I would like for you to have.

Anonymous said...

I actually took a college literature class on Ann Tyler. We read a mess of her books. Maybe 10 or so that semester. I remember appreciating them.

trooping with crows said...

Gee, Mom, what an interesting list. I hope Dorothy Parker was at least considered for either category!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Clay - thanks. Definitely one of my favorites, too.

Aniket - You still have lots of time to read. :) I know isn't it going to be fun to read who others list. I am sure this will make the "rounds" - Thanks!

Karen - I wanted to list many of our English poet favs - but wow..you just can't list everyone. lol. It IS tough - good luck!

Dave - well, like I said in the post - perhaps it is more admiration than influence. But, I have definitely been influenced by a good many of these poets. In general, I think influence here means the power to affect one's own creativity - in otherwords, getting inspiration from a novelist or poet. We are all influenced by what and "who" we read, whether we recognize it or not.

Linda - I am deeply honored. Thank you for the award. I will be over to collect it this evening. ;))) I was heading over anyway. You are so thoughtful, Linda!

Jason, Oh, lucky you. Must have been a great class (hopefully). I love her style. Some of my favorites of hers are Accidental Tourist, A Patchwork Planet, Breathing Lessons, and If Morning Ever Comes. I really like everything I ever read of hers. Thanks, Jason.

Hi Riss - LOL! I knew I would catch heck from you because Miss Parker wasn't on my list. Let's just say she was on my long list before I had to start cutting! ;)

Julie said...

Great list! I idolize Flannery O'Connor (as if nobody has ever heard me say that before). Her writing was sheer genius. Each time I read one of her stories, I discover something new in her technique. Each detail is so expertly placed. For some reason, she often gets overlooked, so I was thrilled to see her on your list.

Thanks for the fun post and links!

Vesper said...

What an interesting list! :-)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Julie - I came to know her work in college. The first story of hers I ever read was "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" - it blew me out of the water - from then, I was hooked! Thanks!

Vesper - thank you! ;)

joaquin carvel said...

thank you! it's kind of an impossible task, really, but i was looking forward to your list, and i was right. some of these surprised me at first, but then they make sense - hans christian anderson? wait; that's where some of the magic comes from - whitman, of course - and auden i wouldn't have thought of and then wondered why i didn't. and william carlos williams - how did i forget him?

and i, like a few others, have a new reading list. how can i know baudelaire's name but not his work? why don't i know who jane kenyon is? these things must be undone.

and yes - great tags - looking forward to those too!

nollyposh said...

Thankyou so much for the lovely award (((hugz))) x

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Thank you, K, for my Sisterhood award! I know I haven't left any comments regarding your poems, but as I explained to Rachel, I would then have to go around and read everyone's poetry (whom I know from blogging) and comment about theirs. And, that would mean I could never, ever leave my chair:) My butt would be permanently glued to it. It already is!(lol)

Anyway, I have a few comments since it's been so long:

1) I absolutely love your daughter's paintings. Does she have a website? If not, she should.

2) I love W.D. Auden, and his heart wrenching "Funeral Blues" is one of my favorites.

3) You know that I don't follow rules, so I'm a bad one to give awards to :) But, I'm VERY grateful for it!!

Be well, my friend.


blue possum said...

Hey Mom,

Like Merissa, I have to mention someone I thought would be on the list of novelists: Charlotte Bronte!

But like you said, I guess you just admire her writing, and you're not influenced. But who wouldn't be influenced by the way she portrayed the drama between Jane and Rochester? haha!

Catvibe said...

Oh, lookie what you have done to moi! :-) This shall be an interesting project...

Thanks! And your list is fitting, albeit surprising not to see Neruda on there!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin - It was a lot of fun! Thanks for including me in on it. As you can see, everyone is "after" me for not listing this one or that one...haha! They know I read them - but you can't list everyone. Although, that would be fun, too! ;)))

If you get a chance, look into Baudelaire. He was a 19th century French poet, whose reputation rests primarily on Les Fleurs du mal; (1857; The Flowers of Evil) which was the most important and influential poetry collection published in Europe in the 19th century.

Let me know after you take a look-see.

Nolly Posh - you are welcome - you deserve it! ;)

Nancy - I know exactly what you mean - and there is no problem! I very seldom get to award people. I ususally take the award and run. LOL...But this time I took the time to do it right. You take you well deserved prize - that is all you have to do! :) Thanks so much for leaving me a comment - and for the compliment for Merissa.
No, she does not have a blog right now. She has a two year old. 'Nuff said!!! :D

Hi, Blue Possum - I know, I know. I had to leave so many people out. She did do a fantastic job with her characters! Ah now I am thinking about when you were home and reading your books....sniffffff!
Oh and - thanks for the reprimand! jk --- love you

Hey, Cat - HAHA - I am getting it from all sides. Maybe I would have listed everyone, if we could have listed 100. Pablo is certainly a poet I respect and read...

Have fun, Cat.

Sarah Hina said...

K, I just love your choices!!! Wow, I am so excited by this meme (Karen tagged me, so I'm rubbing my hands over it :)).

Anne Tyler is a wonder. I've read about 15 of her books. Her characters feel more real to me than most of the people I know. Her most recent, Digging for America, was excellent, I thought. Breathing Lessons, too.

Love Somerset Maugham. A Razor's Edge figures prominently in my novel. :)

DH Lawrence...yum. ;)

You're much better read on the poets than I am. But obviously, I share your love for Walt Whitman. I have some familiarity with Baudelaire, when I was researching Paris. Keats, I love. And the dabbling of Williams I've experienced has left me wanting more.

Oh, and that Shakespeare guy wasn't bad, either. ;)

Anyway, I've jotted down some of the other names. I trust your taste implicitly. :D

Thank you for sharing!! I really enjoyed this one, K. It was fun learning more about you through your inspirations. :)

Aine said...

I'm with Aniket...I have lots of reading ahead of me (perhaps the golden years of my life will be devoted to literature exploration.)

My author list would look totally foreign to literature lovers. LOL Anyone heard of Melvin Konner, Jared Diamond, or Oliver Sacks? Yeah, I was a science geek. ;)

Karen said...

I see you already have it, but there's a "second" on the sisterhood award for you at my place.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sarah, Yes, Ann Tyler is really a jewel of a writer. She writes stories that we can all relate to -on many different levels. Can't wait to see your list!!

Somerset Maugham - That is really something how you have incorporated The Razor's Edge into your novel. (Which I cannot wait to read) Of Human Bondage remains one of my favorite books ever.

Glad you had a fun and hope you find some of the poets unknown to you to your liking. I have a long list of poets, anytime you would like to view it! lol
Thanks, Sarah. :)

Aine - Your list would be very interesting. I am not much of a science/technology person, but once in awhile I do like to dabble. Thank you! :)

Karen - many thanks for the 2nd sisterhood award. I will be over to pick it up. Thanks! ;)))