4. What other poetry books have you been reading lately?
So many, I live my life like Erasmus, “When I get a little money, I buy [poetry] books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” I am reading Pink Plastic House personally annotated by FLA poet Kristin Garth. I feel like as a poet you need to support your fellow poets who are friends, in and out of social media. Buy their books and spread the word on their books. Also, when a poet you know admire and respect recommends a book to you, you better buy it. Tiana Clark recommended Brown by Kevin Young and when she recommends a poet, I immediately am ordering it online. Hanif Willis Abdurraqib wrote a fantastic blub, endorsing Olivia Gatwood’s New American Best Friend. I am also reading Kendra DeColo’s My Dinner with Ron Jeremy and loving Texan poet’s Analicica Sotelo’s inspiringly revealing collection Virgin.
And as a reward for the publication of my first full-length collection Flashes & Verses…Becoming Attractions by Unsolicited Press, I treated myself to Lou Reed’s posthumous poetry book Do Angels Need Haircuts? Reed’s book includes a 7inch vinyl of Lou reciting his poems at a 1971 reading in NYC.
I believe it’s always important to treat yourself as a poet. Writing is a solitary act and what I’ve done, and works for me, for years I’ve “Pavlov my poetry.” Whenever I finish a draft of a poem, receive notice that a poem of mine has been published or experience a breakthrough on the page, I reward myself. And the best reward is poetry books. It’s like fueling your creative soul with future inspiration. The more you read, the better poet you will become. It’s so true. I am proof of this.
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