Books Acquired Recently

Auden, W.H. Selected Poems. Ed. Edward Mendelson. 1979. New York: Vintage, 1989.

I have been meaning to read Auden’s poetry for years now, and have often thought about buying a book of his, but for various reasons it didn’t happen. I found a used copy of his Selected Poems at Aaron’s Books in Lititz, Pennsylvania, for only $5.75 when I was visiting family for Thanksgiving, and decided that it was finally time to buy it.

Cook, Roy J., ed. One Hundred and One Famous Poems with a Prose Supplement. Chicago: Cable, 1929.

I received this from a coworker of my mother’s who knows that I  enjoy poetry. It is a small paperback book, rather beaten up (the back cover is missing, though all of the pages seem to be there), that originally cost $0.25 according to an advertising flyer within. It has poems by some well-known authors (Longfellow, Tennyson, George Eliot, Whittier, and so on) and some that I have never heard of before who must have been influential in the early twentieth century (the canon giveth and the canon taketh away, I suppose). It also contains Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s “give me liberty or give me death” essay, and the Magna Carta. The editor writes in the Preface that “Science and steel demand the medium of prose. Speed requires only the look–the gesture. What need then, for poetry? Great need!” How much truer now is this sentiment nearly a century later!

Espada, Martín. The Republic of Poetry. 2006. New York: Norton, 2008.

I am a big fan of the little of Espada’s poetry that I have read, and came across this collection while browsing at The Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, New York, recently. I decided to buy it immediately. I’ve already read it and it is excellent.

Friesen, Patrick. Interim: Essays & Meditations. Regina: Hagios, 2006.

Patrick Friesen is one of the writers who put Mennonite literature on the broader literary map, and I have enjoyed reading his poetry and drama throughout the years. I recently heard about this collection and decided to buy it, but it was difficult to find a copy because it was only published in Canada. I was able to find one for a reasonable price on abebooks.com.

 

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…).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: