Repost: With an Agenda

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.

With an Agenda

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I don’t usually have a real agenda for my reading, unless there are certain texts assigned for work.  For the most part, I just make my way through my books (several at a time) as I feel like it.


Last year, I signed up over at the Fill in the Gaps blog to join other bloggers in reading 100 books by the end of 2015 (each reading his or her own list).  These books will be for the “gaps” between my regular reading schedule.  I like the idea, and so far have enjoyed the experience of sticking with a loose idea of things I’d like to finish reading in the near future, but without having a precise schedule for when to read each title.  I decided I might like to put together a list of things that I am wanting to read in 2010, focusing on books that are geared to help me become a better writer (specifically, a better writer of speculative poetry).


Some of the titles are on my Fill in the Gaps list.  I only put here those I plan to get to them this year, and of those that I intend to tackle in 2010, I only included those that are focused on helping make me a better speculative poet.


So, here are some of the things I aim to be reading over the next year.  (It looks like a lot, but remember that poetry collections are often very short volumes.)



Poetry Collections


Attack of the Two-Headed Poetry Monster – Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty

The Other Side of the Lens – G. O. Clark

Strange Vegetables – G. O. Clark

North Left of Earth – Bruce Boston

Double Vision – Bruce Boston

Sensuous Debris – Bruce Boston

Intrinsic Night – J. E. Stanley and Joshua Gage

Twigs and Knucklebones – Sarah Lindsay

Genesis, an epic poem – Frederick Turner

Renascence and Other Poems – Edna St. Vincent Millay

In the Yaddith Time – Ann K. Schwader

The Book of Styx – Eddy Styx

Barrow – Bryan Thao Warro

You Are Here and Other Poems – Gene Van Troyer

Ossuary – JoSelle Vanderhooft

Phantasmagoria and other poems – Lewis Carroll



Collections by the following poets (not yet sure which collection I’ll tackle for each)


Ray Bradbury

David Kopaska-Merkel

Wang Wei


W. B. Yeats

Franz Wright

T. S. Eliot






The Rhysling Anthology (upcoming)

Classic Haiku

Modern Japanese Tanka


….along with a big stack of back issues of various poetry magazines






Science and Poetry – Mary Midgley

The Practice of Poetry – Robin Behn

Poetics – Aristotle

Relativity – Albert Einstein

The Book of the Dead – E. A. Wallis, ed.

Simians, Cyborgs, and Women – Donna J. Haraway






Le Morte D’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory

Looking Backward – Edward Bellamy

A Descent into the Maelstrom – Edgar Allan Poe


Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde

Voices – Ursula LeGuin

The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights – James Knowles


….and something by George MacDonald and J Alan Erwine

(that’s two different works, not a collaboration — unless J has some skills in

necromancy that I don’t know about, in which case I will definitely read the





I’m very sure the list will be modified as I go, but for now, this is what I want to aim at for 2010.  It’ll be fun to look back next January and see how many changes have been made.





© 2010 Shelly Bryant

2 Comments Manage Comments for this Entry
Your list will keep you busy, I think. I’m involved in the Booker Challenge this year, an attempt to read varying numbers of books that have won the prize. My first one will be “Wolf Hall” by Mantel. Maybe I’ll fill in a few gaps, too.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010 – 12:53 AM
I know some people who make sure to keep up with one prize list or another, as a way of making sure to keep the gaps filled.  I’ve never been very good about that.

I’m making some headway on my list already, having finished Intrinsic Night and Voices, and finishing Attack of the Two-Headed Poetry Monster soon.  I started Relativity this morning (and expect it to take me a while).

I think that my reading gets a little haphazard when I ravel so much.  I thought setting up a list that I intend to tackle would help keep me a little more disciplined.  We’ll see….

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 – 12:46 PM

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