Of course I have a list of favorite stories, poems, books, writers! If it weren’t for reading Wanda Coleman’s Heavy Daughter Blues, I might not have become a writer at all. I can’t say what it was about the book, but it turned something over in me that I thought was already right side up. Some of the many stories, poems, and books I love are Charles Simic’s The World Doesn’t End; Morton Marcus’s Moments Without Names; the amazing poem on the front page of Booth right this minute called “The Problem with Burning Down Your Own House” by Amorak Huey; and “Snow,” by Ann Beattie is amazing. I have some eternal favorites—this year I’ve been on a big Moby Dick craze, the exception to the rule that I only read short stories. I love the stories in Genesis as works of fiction. And Amy Hempel’s book, Reasons to Live, is the best short fiction book I know. I love most anything by Raymond Carver, and I love Donald Barthelme for the delight he takes in writing the bizarre as if it were not so bizarre. I love Louise Erdrich’s short stories and her novel (another exception) Love Medicine. Roger Ebert was a brilliant writer, not a movie critic. Any of his Great Movie essays will bring you the news.I love and hate Henry James for his brilliant and complicated sentences. e.e. Cummings is very much a favorite, what with all the love poems and those gorgeous sonnets and unforgettable moments like as is the sea marvelous–and another great lover, Pablo Neruda, whose Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair will never stop feeling fresh to me. There are not enough women here. I love the book Smoke by Dorianne Laux, especially her poem, “Prayer.” My mother, M.K. Woodworth is a beautiful writer and I hope she’s not done. One day I happened upon a very strange and beautiful book of stories called Silk by Grace Mazure. Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet is to die for. Kimoko Hahn’s book, The Narrow Road to the Interior may well be my favorite book of poetry of all time, and I could go on and on, in fact, I already have. My apologies.