Books Acquired Recently

Burton, Betsy. The King’s English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller. Salt Lake City: Gibbs, 2005.

The King’s English is a bookstore in my neighborhood that I have patronized frequently during my time living in Salt Lake City. It is probably the best bookstore which sells exclusively new books that I’ve ever been to–I always find something fascinating that I wasn’t looking for. Burton’s book is a history of the store’s first quarter century. I’ll be moving this summer to take a new job, and have been acquiring various mementos of my favorite places in the city. This purchase is a part of that saying goodbye.

Penner, Jessica. Shaken in the Water. Tipp City: Foxhead, 2013.

I received a review copy of my good friend Jessica Penner’s new novel, and I am hoping to get a review of it published in an academic journal. I’ve read a few excerpts of it previously which were quite good, so I am looking forward to reading the whole thing. You can buy it here.

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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