During this past semester, I read Juan Felipe Herrera’s poems for the first time — and they completely changed the way I think about poetry. I’m really excited about finally having some time to read the books I got at his LitHop reading, Notes on the Assemblage and Laughing Out Loud, I Fly. The latter one is most interesting to me because it’s written both in Spanish and English, and lately I’ve been interested in translating poetry.
One really cool thing about being in the Fresno State MFA program is that a lot of people have lent me all kinds of books. This summer I’ll be reading Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories by Hisaye Yamamoto, which Ashley Truong lent me, and Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition by Walt Whitman, which Connie Hales let me borrow because I told her that I’d never read Whitman before and she recommended that I read that one first.
I’m also trying to do more reading in Spanish, so I’ll be reading from the complete poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca as well as a novel by Isabel Allende that I have yet to pick.
And just because I miss being a music major, I’ll be reading A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians — from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between by Stuart Isacoff.