We asked Sesshu Foster, author of Atomik Aztex (City Lights): What are your favorite books of all time?
By Allen Ginsberg (Harper Perennial)
It probably sounds corny, but my brother gave me this book when we were teenagers hitchhiking on Highway One out of Monterey and it completely changed my idea of poetry and writing. I don’t really have “favorite” books, but I do have books that made a difference in my life and this was one.
The Dharma Bums
By Jack Kerouac (Penguin)
At the time, On the Road was a bit too much like my childhood to be a joyride. But The Dharma Bums gave me the idea of applying for a job as a fire lookout and I wound up fighting forest fires in Colorado and Wyoming. Way more exciting. Pays for college, too!
By Herman Melville (University of California Press)
I was 19 years old, working as a bouncer in a strip
joint when I first tried to read this book. I didn’t get it. But read the University of California Press edition: it’s like NOT getting struck by lightning while a lightning storm strikes all around you on the north edge of the Grand Canyon.