5 Things You Should Read (Crouch)

by a contributor

from Michelle E. Crouch, author of  Step 9: A Misinterpretation:

  1. 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 17591763 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. “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.
  5. 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.