Books Acquired Recently

Good, Merle. Surviving Failure (and a Few Successes). Lancaster, PA: Walnut Street Books, 2018.

Good is one of the first Mennonite writers from the United States (his novel Happy as the Grass was Green came out in 1971), and he and his wife Phyllis were the owners of Good Books, which published a number of important titles in the field of Mennonite studies. I bought his new memoir as soon as I heard about it because I am interested in reading about the unfortunate demise of Good Books in his own words.

I purchased this book and Haslip-Viera’s from amazon.com.

Haslip-Viera, Gabriel, ed. Taíno Revival: Critical Perspectives on Puerto Rican Identity and Cultural Politics. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2001.

As I continue to explore my Puerto Rican heritage I have been searching for more information about the island’s pre-colonial history and its traces in Puerto Rican society today. This book is one of the very few I was able to find on the subject, so I bought it despite its age.

Underwood, Upton Uxbridge. Poets Ranked by Beard Weight: The Commemorative Edition. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2011.

I received this book, a spoof that claims to be an Edwardian classic, from a friend. Of course I love beards, so it will be interesting to read.

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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