Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Stragglers Edition

I have received a few more books in the last week that I purchased with holiday cash from amazon.com’s network of sellers.

Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Tr. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge: Belknap-Harvard, 1999.

I recently read about this work, Benjamin’s notes and clippings for a book about arcades in 1880s Paris that he was never able to write due to his untimely death during World War II, and was immediately intrigued by it because of its obsessive nature. I also love books that somehow stretch the codex form, as this one does as a reproduction of a number of excerpts rather than a longer, single text. It was less than $30.00, which feels like a steal for such a massive (over 1,000 pages) volume.

Gurga, Lee, and Scott Metz, eds. Haiku 21. Lincoln: Modern Haiku, 2011.

Van Den Heuvel, Cor, ed. The Haiku Anthology. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 1999.

As part of my continuing explorations of haiku I have been trying to read lots of anthologies to get a sense of the field. Van Den Heuvel’s is apparently the bastion of traditional haiku, whereas Gurga and Metz both advocate for a more innovative aesthetic. I lean toward the latter, but it is helpful to read examples of both, and Van Den Heuvel’s anthology of baseball haiku is what got me interested in the genre in the first place. From what I know so far, it seems like an essential aspect of the haiku spirit is to keep an open mind.

 

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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