this is the super secret personally curated list of recommended books for the ever wonderfully snarky Hanna of FILTH (insta: @fffilth)

part of the on-going Collaborative Wishlist series


“Life On Mars” by Tracy K. Smith

a great “gateway” book to get into poetry. plus she’s a contemporary and it’s always awesome to support writers while they’re still alive 🙂

“The Wild Iris” by Louise Gluck

A fantastic collection, at least according to someone like me who really likes quiet reflection and flowers and earth and the subtle realities of love. i finished reading this at the park, by a lake. i cried at the last poem–“The White Lilies”–what i love about poetry is that the entire collection is a singular piece of work, kind of like a music album, the best ones just fit it all together in such a cohesive way it feels like–

well, give it a try. here’s the poem:

“Poetics of Wonder: Passage to Mogador” by Alberto Ruy-Sánchez

No one knows about this one and that simultaneously kills me and makes me feel like i discovered something magical from the universe

There’s so much to say but I don’t want to ruin it. Instead I’ll mention that it is one of my favorite books–nevermind favorite poetry books–and that the first time I read it in a Barnes & Noble in Philly I immediately ran into the night to the train station crying of utter joy and somehow I ended up in a town two hours away and well the rest of the story is for in person. if you can find it–get it

Poets I’ve met and recommend to everyone

“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath

Besides “The Bell Jar,” I would also heavily recommend her unabridged journals. So good I accidentally bought two copies (at different times)

“The Romantic Dogs” by Roberto Bolano

read this while living in the bookstore in paris, so

Saul Williams

I’m undecided on whether I should recommend She to you or , said the shotgun to the head. They’re both my favorites for different reasons…but I think I’m going to go with She just because it matches your aesthetic a bit more:

STILL highly recommend checking out , said the shotgun to the head though!

And of course, his other wonderful work. (If you get the chance to see him perform live, do it!)


“Kiln People”

“Oryx and Crake”

Did we already talk about this? I feel like we have. Just to be safe I’m putting it on here.

Short Stories

“The Tent” by Margaret Atwood

This one I came across while hitchhiking with a friend. We both loved it. I haven’t been able to find it again in person…I think we randomly left the copy we received ifor someone else to find and enjoy…

Italo Calvino

I’m actually not sure which particular book of his to recommend to you. So here are my top four.

“Drown” by Junot Diaz

A lot of people liked “This Is How You Lose Her” more. But I don’t know, there’s something really special he captures with Drown which I haven’t seen replicated, since.

Kahlil Gibran


Anais Nin

Speaking of journalists…definitely Anais Nin. idk, she just came at the right time for me.

“M Train” by Patti Smith

Like Anais Nin, Patti Smith has always been on my radar but for whatever reason it never clicked ’til I was hiding under a rock in Sweden. Absolutely love and respect and admire her as an artist.

(I was gonna pick “Just Kids” but I’m assuming you’ve already read it and if not grab it when you cross it)

Graphic Novels

“Understanding Comics”

ok if you haven’t heard / read this one this might seem like a lame rec. but it really isn’t–I read this one in two trips to Barnes & Noble and the only reason I didn’t buy it is simply due to lack of funds. it’s such an amazing adventure into the art and science and mastery of visual language and storytelling…i only recommend this one to fellow ~*creatives*~ because they’re more willing to give it a shot. but it really is an amazing work which everyone should have in their personal libraries.


If you haven’t read this already I really think you’d like it, or at the very least appreciate it.

“Dear Frida”

I don’t know if you can find an affordable version in the States (I read it while in Sweden) but if you stumble upon it, make some time to rest into the pages, it is refreshingly lovely


Honestly I shouldn’t even be touching fiction because there is just too much good stuff. But here’s just a few off the top of my head

“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin

“The Lover’s Dictionary”

David Sedaris

You seem like you’re already a Sedaris fan, and if you aren’t…

“The Little Prince”

Just in case 😉

I love listening to it in French as I drift off to sleep:

If you give any of these a try (or if you’ve already read some and loved/hated them) let me know! really curious to hear what you think


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