Books Acquired Recently

Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume A: Beginnings to 1820. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2012.

—. The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume B: 1820-1865. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2012.

I requested these two exam copies from the publisher because I will be teaching an early American literature class in the fall. I generally dislike teaching with anthologies, but they are helpful reference tools when planning a course because they provide a ready-made list of the authors to consider including in a syllabus.

Cervantes, Lorna Dee. Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems. San Antonio: Wings, 2011.

I received a review copy of this collection from the Rocky Mountain Review (the journal of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association), for whom I will be writing a review. I’ve only read a few of Cervantes’s poems before, so I look forward to becoming more familiar with her work. The concept of the book sounds interesting, and it is printed in dark brown ink instead of black ink, so it is a fascinating object that I will be happy to have in my library even if I end up not liking it.

Kasdorf, Julia Spicher. The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life: Essays and Poems. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 2009.

I acquired this and Kauffman’s book from as part of my research for an essay on Mennonite literature that I am currently working on. I have the 2001 Johns Hopkins first edition of The Body and the Book, which I read and loved as soon as it was published, but the 2009 edition has a new preface that I wanted to read, and I was able to find a used copy for only a few dollars, so I bought it instead of finding it in a library. As regular readers of this blog know, I am always happy for any excuse to buy a book!

Kauffman, Janet. Places in the World a Woman Could Walk. 1983. Saint Paul: Graywolf, 1996.

I enjoy Kauffman’s work, and read this book back in college, but do not remember it well. This is the only book of her fiction that I don’t already own (she has also published two collections of poetry), and I found a used, signed (!) copy at a very affordable price.

Rowell, Charles Henry, ed. Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. New York: Norton, 2013.

This is another exam copy from the publisher. I will be assigning it for my May Term African American Literature After 1960 class. I do find poetry anthologies useful, and am rather excited about this one because it is reasonably priced and has a strong selection of poets (though it omits Essex Hemphill, which is unexcusable).

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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