Books Acquired Recently

Cruz, Miriam. 5 Sundays with Mim: Selected Sermons from Woodcrest Villa Worship. Lancaster, PA: N.p., 2018.

This is a book of sermons by my mother, who is a chaplain at Woodcrest Villa, which is part of Mennonite Home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is retiring soon, and one of the residents decided to print this book as a retirement gift. I received it from my mother earlier this week in the mail.

Nordgren, Sarah Rose. Darwin’s Mother. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017.

Nordgren gave a reading of her second collection of poems at the New Hartford Barnes & Noble this past Wednesday, and it was absolutely delightful. There was no question about whether or not to buy her book.

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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