Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Mennonite Edition

Cliff, Michelle. Free Enterprise. New York: Dutton, 1993.

I heard a presentation about this novel at Northeast MLA and it sounded interesting because of its treatment of pacifism and violence, so I decided to buy it since I have enjoyed my previous experiences with Cliff’s writing.

Denise, Cheryl. I Saw God Dancing. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2005.

This past weekend I was at the Poetics of Place writing retreat at Laurelville Mennonite Camp in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. It was an amazing experience filled with thought-provoking conversations and inspired writing. There was a book sale, and I bought a number of volumes, all poetry: Denise’s two books and those by Gascho, Kaufmann, Stenson, and Wiebe. Aside from Wiebe, who died in 2008, all of the authors were there and I was thus able to have them sign my books. Now I have plenty of poetry to read this summer!

—. What’s in the Blood. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2012.

Gascho, Joseph. Cornfields, Cottonwoods, Seagulls, and Sermons: Growing Up in Nebraska. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2017.

Kaufmann, Britt. Belonging. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2011.

Kreider, Roberta Showalter, ed. The Cost of Truth: Faith Stories of Mennonite and Brethren Leaders and Those Who Might Have Been. Kulpsville, PA: Strategic Press, 2004.

I recently came across a citation of this book in an article by Alicia Dueck-Read, and bought it immediately because of my work on queer Mennonites.

Stenson, Esther Yoder. Miracle Temple. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2009.

Wiebe, Dallas. On the Cross: Devotional Poems. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2005.

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. Orlando: Harcourt, 1981.

I was recently lamenting to a friend that I no longer had a copy of this book because my ex-wife got it after our divorce. Said friend surprised me with this copy yesterday.

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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