Books Acquired Recently

Bornstein, Kate. Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. 1994. New York: Vintage, 1995.

Bornstein, Kate, and S. Bear Bergman, eds. Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Berkeley: Seal, 2010.

I’ve read bits and pieces of Bornstein’s work over the years and enjoyed it, and a colleague recently told me that she uses Bornstein’s work in her writing classes with great success, so I finally decided to buy and read some substantial chunks of her work. I am especially excited to read Gender Outlaw, but also thought that it would be helpful to read the more recent collection of essays on Bornstein’s original themes.

Lachman, Becca J.R. The Apple Speaks. Telford: DreamSeeker, 2012.

I bought this book now in order to get to’s $25.00 free shipping threshold (happily, Bornstein’s books were quite inexpensive), but it has been on my “to buy” list for a while after a friend recommended it. I love Mennonite poetry, and am excited to read a newer voice in the field. The collection has poems with Anabaptist-influenced titles such as “An Anabaptist Learns Tai Chi,” “Talking Poetry With an Amish Bishop,” and “Reading Plath at a National Mennonite Convention” that whet my appetite for the rest of the book. Sadly, the cover is ugly and unappealing, and this has often been a weakness with Cascadia Publishing House’s (the parent company of DreamSeeker Books) books, along with terrible proofreading. But their content is always good.

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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