Book Acquired Recently: Adirondack Ghosts II

Macken, Lynda Lee. Adirondack Ghosts II: Haunting Tales of New York’s North Country. Forked River: Black Cat, 2003.

This evening the old Utica psychiatric hospital (“Old Main”) was open for tours for the first time in several years, and I went with some friends. I was excited to see inside of the building (which is gorgeous on the outside) because I have had a number of students do research about the building. The tour was interesting, though not as exciting as if people had been allowed to wander around on their own. The event was sponsored by the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica. Admission was free, but people who donated to the society received a copy of Macken’s book, which is appropriate because Old Main is said to be haunted.

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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