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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And The Top 25 Most Influential Writers Would Be...

So, check it:

I was tagged by fellow Brotha blogger Keith to form a list of the 25 Most Influential writers in my personal estimation, right? At first, I thought this would be a cakewalk, because truthfully, I’m a knowledge junkie. I get a little high on literary grog. I become a tad agog when I see, hear or read greatness. I hold in the Highest Regard those people who create a world and who allow me an entrance into it, if only with the keys of my imagination. So, being an vivid reader, I've been influenced by a lot of artist-people, and by the characters, the places, the dialogues they created. The art of writing has always helped me to get in touch with my core emotions, shape my opinions, inspire and inform the way I view the world.

However, since writing isn’t comprised solely of book authors, in naming 25 influences I had to show some respect for other forms to reflect the infinite variety (books, music, theatre, etc.), and that’s where my list became tricky.

So... these are the ones off the top of my noggin that have left an indelible impression upon my heart, spirit and psyche:

1. William Shakespeare

2. Walt Whitman

3. Toni Morrison

4. James Baldwin

5. Langston Hughes

6. Zora Neale Hurston

7. Alex Haley

8. F. Scott Fitzgerald

9. Gwendolyn Brooks

10. Amiri Baraka

11. Maya Angelou

12. Jack Kerouac

13. Eldridge Cleaver

14. Ishmael Reed

15. Henry Dumas

16. Nikki Giovanni

17. Audre Lorde

18. Lorraine Hansbury

19. August Wilson

20. Arthur Miller

21. Ntozake Shange

22. Tennessee Williams

23. Tupac Shakur

24. Walter Mosley

25. Truman Capote

Damn! That was hard. Many others made the list... then I had to delete them because I was only allowed 25. However, honorable mentions and special shout-outs must go to:

Ralph Ellison, Stevie Wonder, Jayne Cortez, Alain Locke, William Carlos Williams, Federico Garcia Lorca, Joseph Beam, Norman Mailer, Alice Walker, Joni Mitchell, Etheridge Knight, Haki Madhubuti, Marlon Riggs, John Ashberry, Allen Ginsberg, Essex Hemphill, Robert Bly, Prince Rogers Nelson, June Jordan, Gloria Naylor, Jamaica Kincaid, Hart Crane, Countee Cullen, Lucille Clifton, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, Rita Dove, Lennon and McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Rickie Lee Jones, Ursula Rucker, Maggie Estep, Clarence Major, Charles Johnson, and a host of others whose number compete with the amount of stars in Heaven.

Since I must tag THREE others, I’d be curious to know the influences of the following blog-lings:

Joaquin Carvel

Free Spirit





Marvin D. Wilson said...

Grrr - dang you man, I swore off tag games and have been tag-free for 6 months now - just got my pin at the meetin' last night, dawg - sup, bro, how gon' go'n do me like this, yo?

LOL. I'll do this only for two reasons - one, you know I luv ya, and two - at least this is a literary tag, not one of those flippin' play dates where we all list a dozen silly things about each other.

Love your list - a lot of crossover there with mine. Also appreciated the Lennon & McCartney honorable mention. Those cats' lyrics were off the hook towards the end of the Beatles reign.

ka-os said...

Errrr.... where was Jackie Collins? Not to mention Barbara Cartland. You have disappointed me, sir, with your list of 2 bit hacks!

Dorrie said...

I'm ashamed to admit that I don't recognise many of those authors...

thegayte-keeper said...

I LOVE your list...

Lovebabz said...

Oh dear, I left a comment but I think I may have lost it...DAMN.

I beleive I said I loved your list! I was truly impressed. But when I got to your honorable mentions I was WOWED! LOL!

I am so coming to steal some book from you.

A good book...a good author can bring me to my knees. When I lay in bed at night reading Edith Wharton, or Jane Austen or Toni Morrison I am transfixed. I am transported through time and space. I feel the characters...I am there with them. A good book seduces...woos and delivers the O!

Anyway, your list was it would be.

I think this is what I said :)

joaquin carvel said...

oh man - this is tricky. but i'll do my best.

(whitman - shakur - ginsburg - i'd love to be at that dinner party!)

Oyin said...

Same as I wrote on dont even know 35 writers...I would have to google it....damn

becomingkate said...

Intimidating list. Have a good weekend Lin!