Crafty Green Poet recently asked me to list twenty five writers who have influenced me. I haven't completed the list but have made a start. I'm not sure whether I should restrict myself to writing or whether attitudes and values can also be included. Anyway below is the list.
Kahill Gibran - The Prophet. (I've also read the Bible cover to cover and that has influenced me to differing degrees over the years.)
There's a whole raft of female poets I admire and am happy to be influenced by. They include Polly Clark, Pascale Petit, Penelope Shuttle & Jo Shapcott.
I have a copy of Waiting for H5N1 by Jane Routh which I wouldn't want to loose and there's a lot to be admired in Susan Richardson's Creatures of the Intertidal Zone.
As for male writers: Hopkins for the way he distorts words to bring out multiple meanings. Heaney for the way he creates layers of meaning by using lexical groupings. Hughes and Pound for selecting words for their associations. Cris Cheek and others for their positioning of words on the page. And Hughes (again) for remembering to place creatures in their habitats.
I also admire Colin Simms for his precise images of wildlife movement, innovative use of language, his joy of sound and the sheer excitement and enthusiasm which pervades his work. Idris Caffrey has influenced me so much I could put a collection together called The Idris Effect.
I'm always influenced by the novel I'm currently reading although how much stays with me afterwards varies. I do unashamedly confess to thoroughly enjoying all of Jane Austen's novels although I'm not aware of any direct influence.
And let's not forget Sam Smith who provided immense encouragement by being instrumental in getting From The Field Book published.
So who has influenced you?