5 Things You Should Read (Crouch)
by a contributor
from Michelle E. Crouch, author of Step 9: A Misinterpretation:
- This poem, commonly referred to as “For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry.” It’s actually a fragment of a much longer work called Jubilate Agno, which Christopher Smart composed from 1759–1763 while in a London insane asylum. I find myself using the phrase “spraggle to the waggle of command” much more often than you might think possible.
- The Collected Short Stories of Lydia Davis. She is my short fiction hero, and also my long fiction hero for her beautiful translation of Swann’s Way.
- Inferno (a poet’s novel) by Eileen Myles. Loosely structured around Dante’s Inferno, this memoir/novel about New York City in the 20th century, poetry, and sexuality deserves to be at least as widely read as Patti Smith’s Just Kids.
- “The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges. Fun fact: I am a trained librarian/archivist, and conceiving of the universe as a giant mystical library pleases me deeply.
- The essays “Hatchet Piece: 101 Things I Hate” and “Puff Piece: 101 Things I Love” from Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters. As he says in the latter, “I’m so lucky to be having a happy childhood as an adult.” I think more writers should think that way.