Books Acquired Recently

Everett, Percival. Suder. 1983. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1999.

I enjoy Everett’s fiction quite a lot, though I have not read nearly all of it because he is so prolific. I have been wanting to explore more of his work, and when I was doing some research on him recently to prepare to teach his novel Erasure in my American Literature After 1945 course, I read some about Suder, which I decided would be the next novel of his that I would read because it is about baseball.

This book and Kacian, et al.’s anthology were bought from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Kacian, Jim, Philip Rowland, and Allan Burns, eds. Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years. New York: Norton, 2013.

I have been getting obsessed with haiku lately, and read about this recent anthology in an issue of Frogpond, which is the journal of the Haiku Society of America. I am especially interested in the history of haiku in America and how the form has evolved in modern times, thus I am hoping that reading this anthology will increase my knowledge in both areas.

Swartley, André. The Wretched Afterlife of Odetta Koop. Newton: Workplay, 2015.

I received a review copy of this sequel to Swartley’s enjoyable novel Leon Martin and the Fantasy Girl, and look forward to reading it soon. Swartley does a good job of writing about Mennonite characters and issues in sincere, non-pedantic ways.

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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