Books Acquired Recently

Castillo, Ana. Loverboys. New York: Norton, 1996.

—. My Father Was a Toltec and Selected Poems 1973-1988. 1995. New York: Anchor, 2004.

Ana Castillo is an author that I really enjoy, especially her novel The Guardians, which I’ve taught several times. She is the writer-in-residence this semester at my college, so I thought I would get more familiar with her work as I also have the opportunity to get to know her as a colleague. I haven’t read her poetry before, and Loverboys, a short story collection, sounds really fascinating because it involves some same-sex love stories. I look forward to reading both.

Genet, Jean. Prisoner of Love. Trans. Barbara Bray. 1989. Hanover: Wesleyan UP, 1992.

I enjoy Genet’s novels and I am also fascinated by the history of the Black Panther Party, so I decided to buy this book, which is about Genet’s experiences with the Panthers and with Palestinian refugees, both of whose causes he advocated.

All three bought on

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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