Books Acquired Recently: Post-Holiday Edition

I’ve begun receiving books in the mail (all of the books in this post were ordered via amazon.com) that I have ordered as a result of my literary experiences over the winter break. I received Knecht’s other novel (Who is Vera Kelly?) as a gift and loved it, so decided to order her first book, and I heard about Awkward-Rich’s and Peters’s books last week at MLA.

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. Transit. Minneapolis: Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2015.

Knecht, Rosalie. Relief Map. Portland: Tin House Books, 2016.

Peters, Torrey. Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2016.

Peters has her MFA from the University of Iowa and has published in a number of prestigious journals, but writes in her “About the Author” statement that “she’s trans, and has concluded that the publishing industry doesn’t serve trans women. So now, she just wants to give her work away for free to other trans girls.” This is a powerful political choice that makes the argument that literature has the power to change lives and that this possibility is more important than furthering one’s literary career via traditional venues. I read through Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones earlier today in one sitting and loved it; Peters is certainly not self-publishing due to a lack of writing skill. You can read more about her work at her website, http://www.torreypeters.com/.

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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