Books Acquired Recently: Rocky Mountain MLA Edition II

Today I walked around downtown Boulder, Colorado with a colleague and several new friends as Rocky Mountain MLA wound down. We visited two excellent bookstores, Red Letter Secondhand Books (where they gave me my books in a recycled Borders bag! Independent bookstores forever!) and Left Hand Book Collective, a fantastic all-volunteer leftist bookstore (though I’d like to think that their name is inspired in part by Simon and Garfunkel’s “A Simple Desultory Philippic”: “I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed. That’s the hand I use… well, never mind.”). I bought the Atwood and Whitman at the former and the Marable and Hugo (half-price!) at the latter.

Atwood, Margaret. Dancing Girls and Other Stories. 1977. New York: Anchor, 1998.

I have an essay coming out on one of the stories from this collection, “Rape Fantasies,” but did not actually own the collection itself. I’ve been looking for a copy of it for a while, and this one is in good condition and was only $6.00.

Hugo, Richard. Selected Poems. New York: Norton, 1979.

I’ve enjoyed the Hugo that I’ve read in anthologies, and have almost bought his Collected Poems several times. I haven’t bought or read any poetry in quite a while, so I decided to finally break down and buy one of Hugo’s books since both the vendor and the price were right.

Marable, Manning. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Penguin, 2011.

Marable’s book has gotten excellent reviews (in fact, it won the Pulitzer) and I’ve been meaning to pick it up for a while.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass and Democratic Vistas. London: Everyman’s, 1912.

Whitman is one of my literary obsessions, and as such I own numerous printings of Leaves of Grass. This Everyman’s Library edition is aesthetically pleasing and includes an introduction by one of Whitman’s friends, Horace Traubel. It’s interesting to note that Whitman died in relative obscurity in 1892, but twenty years later he was already canonical enough for the Library to reprint his work.

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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