Reading is maybe the best thing you can do to develop as a writer — especially if you read at the speed of speech!
Here’s a shortcut link to thousands of poems, at a site searchable by author, title, subject, etc: POETS.ORG
Here’s a list of recommended short fiction:
*Check out my favorite American short-story artist, Flannery O’Connor! — The first and last stories in this collection are UNFORGETTABLE! — WARNING: O’Connor reveals some UGLY characteristics of the people she knows well from growing up in the American South (near Atlanta, GA) in the ’30’s & ’40’s. Her characters are often racist; O’Connor herself should be seen as an ‘anti-racist’. http://www.boyd.k12.ky.us/userfiles/447/Classes/28660/A%20Good%20Man%20Is%20Hard%20To%20Find.pdf–You can also watch a film of The Displaced Person — which begins at the 1:15 mark after an intro by Henry Fonda: https://youtu.be/NTRXgV64w64
*A funny, surprising non-fiction story by David Sedaris: https://sites.google.com/site/mendomundo/home/you-cant-kill-the-rooster Suggestion: Listen to Sedaris read the story with some playful (?) background music and his sister Amy speaking their brother’s dialogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExcpcPZKWpU — Explicit Language Advisory: The story is FULL of profane language — it’s one of the main reasons Sedaris wrote the story, in fact. If you find this offensive, please push through anyway, and see if the ending ‘redeems’ the story.
*A SERIOUS, deep story by James Baldwin about two black brothers in New York around 1950: https://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/2B-HUM/Readings/Baldwin-Sonnys-Blues.pdf
*A classic Jock London story with ALMOST NO DIALOGUE: https://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/to-build-a-fire.pdf
*Another American classic with perhaps TOO MUCH dialogue: https://lirroaringtwenties.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/5/3/14539476/hemingway-hills-like-white-elephants.pdf
*Two stories by Ursula Le Guin — America’s most bad-ass woman science-fiction writer: https://loa-shared.s3.amazonaws.com/static/pdf/Le_Guin_Day_Before_Revolution.pdf & http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-island-of-the-immortals/