Books Acquired Recently

Beachy, Stephen. Leahbelle Beachy and the Beings of Light: Amish Terror Book 2. San Diego: Vapor Books, 2018.

This is the second volume of Beachy’s Amish science fiction trilogy, which just came out. I can’t wait to read it!

Cherciu, Lucia. Train Ride to Bucharest. Rhinebeck, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 2017.

Cherciu is the winner of this year’s Nassar Poetry Prize, which is sponsored by Utica College. She gave a reading on campus this past Thursday. I was one of the judges who read her book, and I really enjoyed it, so I bought it and had her sign it at the reading.

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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