I long ago learned that what I need for my art is time and enclosure, by which I mean slowly unfolding days surrounded by the invisible fences of solitude.
"I’ll remember the land.
The land, the pines, the fat black beetles.
The delicious food, yes; the light-filled rooms, the conversations, the generosity of Joya’s hosts, certainly. The round vowels of Spanish that filled my ears, always.
But it is the land itself that has seeped into my blood. The stones of Spain. The dust, the limestone soil. The two-track roads I walked in the afternoons, the smell of the almond blossoms. A deep sweet silence filled with the calls of birds and insects going about their lives, the alert movement of ibex and boar across Los Gázquez while we slept. The rock art the ancient ones left us. All of this has entered me and entered my work, like moonlight in a basin of water.
Somehow time opened up at Joya – and the language of poetry began to take on new rhythms and purposes, rooted in spaciousness that is very old and just being born".
Svetlana Alexievich: Chernobyl Prayer (nonfiction)
James Baldwin: Notes of a Native Son (nonfiction)
Kim Barnes: In the Wilderness and Hungry for the World (nonfiction, memoir)
Ray Carver: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (fiction, short stories)
Harriet Doerr: The Stones of Ibarra (fiction)
Mathias Enard: The Street of Thieves (fiction)
Louise Erdrich: Love Medicine and The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (fiction)
Tess Gallagher: Moon Crossing Bridge (poetry)
Hans Fallada: Every Man Dies Alone (fiction)
Linda Hogan: Dark. Sweet. (poetry)
Camara Laye: The Radiance of the King (fiction)
Nadezhda Mandelstam: Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned (nonfiction, memoir)
Layli Long Soldier: Whereas (poetry)
Barry Lopez: Arctic Dreams (nonfiction) and Desert Notes/River Notes (fiction)
N. Scott Momaday: House Made of Dawn (fiction)
Vladimir Nabokov: Speak, Memory (nonfiction, memoir)
Maggie Nelson: Argonauts (nonfiction, memoir)
Mercè Rodoreda: The Time of Doves; War, So Much War; and Death in Spring (fiction)
John Vaillant: The Tiger and The Golden Spruce (nonfiction)
Isabel Wilkerson: The Warmth of Other Suns (nonfiction, history)