Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Recommended Reading for April 2017

Our Ashland MFA faculty were asked to recommend books for developing writers. We're including instructional guides, anthologies, and classics of the craft, all meant to be helpful tools for your writing. Listed below are this month’s recommendations.

Creative Nonfiction

Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Recommended by Steve Harvey

Walden is the finest and most influential collection of essays by an American writer.  It created an American voice for the personal essay and took on issues such as nature and personal responsibility that continue to be explored by American essayists who have followed such as Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire.  Norton has a fine critical edition which combines Walden with another extremely influential essay, “Civil Disobedience.”                            


The Resistance to Poetry by James Longenbach

Recommended by Angela Estes

This book is one of the best I know of about what poems are, why we write them, and why people read them. It also includes most of Longenbach's very useful THE ART OF THE POETIC LINE.


Let the Bead Bury their Dead by Randall Kenan

Recommended by our fiction instructors, Erika Krouse, E.J. Levy, and William Haywood Henderson

This is a good example of the linked-story cycle, illustrating a range of literary modes from magical realism to meta-narration, as it builds across races and centuries.

* Photo at top of page is "Book and Glass" by Pasi Mämmelä, used courtesy of Creative Commons license via Flickr

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