Books Acquired Recently

Hostetler, Ann. Safehold. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2018.

Hostetler is best-known for her 2003 anthology of Mennonite poetry A Cappella, but she is also an accomplished poet herself. Safehold is her second collection. I ordered it as soon as it was released. For some reason amazon.com didn’t have it right away, so I acquired it from Barnes & Noble.

Newton, Esther. My Butch Career: A Memoir. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Lately I have been reading a lot of memoir, especially queer memoir, an interest that has stemmed from my teaching of memoir in my writing classes over the past few years. Queer life writing is incredibly important during this repressive age. I was able to get an examination copy of this book from the publisher because I am looking for some memoirs to include the next time I teach my Queer Literature course.

Vilar, Irene. The Ladies’ Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. 1996. New York: Vintage Books, 1998.

I found this book online while searching for more information about the Puerto Rican freedom fighter Lolita Lebrón. Vilar is Lebrón’s granddaughter and her book is about the women in her family. I purchased it from Powell’s.

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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