Born and raised in the Louisiana Bayou's!--with a gumbo background in all "things" hot, spicy and edible! [Note: Those "things" heretofore mentioned must be accompanied by jazz, zydeco music or a hurricane; although I can't "drink" the "latter" anymore for obvious reasons]
Earlier influences were my Reverend Grandfather, A Special Aunt, and a "bodacious" English Teacher! Literary influence were The Renaissence Poets and Authors (Byron, Shelley and Keats), the Venerable William Shakespeare, Chaucer, and John Donne. Later on, I relished in the writings of Whitman, Poe, and Longfellow followed by Emily Dickinson and Edna St Vincet Millay. Of course; e.e. kept me cummings. All told, I was influenced by a great "smorgasboard" of writers who all transcended time itself!
Aferthought: Thank you, on, My Kindred Spirit, for giving me that "push" I needed; to include all the profound and delighful poems, and words of encouragement you shared with me over the years.