Persephone Magazine’s Reading Challenge

Did I say I was publishing twice today? Well, then this is the bonus third. Check out Persephone Magazine’s reading challenge which involves reading many categories / styles of books: it includes challenges of books to read such as “A book with a one-word title,” “A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.),” “A book in translation,” “A graphic novel,” etc. There are 20 book challenges; writer Sara Habein records the results of taking on this challenge. At #17, “A book of poetry,” she’s read my book. Here’s what she had to say:

“I let this collection of poetry languish unread in my collection for far too long. It wasn’t for any particular reason; I just kept forgetting to pick it up. Finally, I’ve read it, and it’s magnificent and feels personal and is exactly what I’m looking for when I want a book of poetry, somewhat in the same way I love Tracy K. Smith’s work.”

…which is pretty sweet to say.

Click here for the reading challenge, and get reading.

‘Writers Who Read’ Interview

And here’s the second of two interviews posted on the same day. This one was especially fun: G.G. Andrew asks me questions about books I love. It’s occurred to me that I like this a lot more than the usual construction of “Which writers do you admire / emulate / hold up as gods” etc., the question that always makes me falter and go dry-mouthed. Which is silly. What’s the difference?

I’ll keep pondering this, and in the meantime, click here for the interview.

Here’s an excerpt, in answer to Andrew asking me about my book weaknesses:

“I’m not often into bestsellers, and I am discouraged on every level when the ‘must-read’ author lists of The New York Times and NPR are blindingly white. As readers, as makers of these lists, who are we if we can’t diversify our reading? I don’t want to read only books by people who occupy the very tiny niche I live in. Books by people who are not my exact demographic continue to make me a better person, a more compassionate and thoughtful person; they challenge me in great ways.”

Here’s to more challenges and great books to be read and re-read.