Books Acquired Recently: AWP Edition

This morning I got back from the 2019 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Portland. It was a fantastic time! I saw some authors that I love and encountered some new writers whose work I cannot wait to check out.

As usual when I go to conferences, the bookfair was a highlight of the trip. AWP’s gigantic bookfair is legendary. It is, frankly, overwhelming, even for a hardcore bibliophile/book-buying addict such as myself. I acquired 17 books. I was able to get Awkward-Rich’s, Berggrun’s, Chee’s, Chen’s, Davis’s, Dawn’s, Dentz’s, and Tedesco’s signed. Note that all of the books except Chee’s are published by small independent presses, which are more important to support than ever. I bought most of the books from the publishers themselves, but I got Awkward-Rich’s, Chee’s, Chen’s, and Smith’s from the Powell’s display at the center of the fair. Powell’s handed out free commemorative tote bags and pins with purchases from their booth, both neat souvenirs.

I also bought a Walt Whitman Brooklyn Poets t-shirt–I couldn’t resist. I also wanted to get the Audre Lorde shirt, but they were a bit pricey ($25.60 each) so I will have to get it another time.

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. Sympathetic Little Monster. Los Angeles: Ricochet Editions, 2016.

Berggrun, Chase. Red. Minneapolis: Birds, LLC, 2018.

This book is an erasure poem created from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

Chee, Alexander. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays. Boston: Mariner Books, 2018.

Chen, Ching-In. The Heart’s Traffic: A Novel in Poems. Los Angeles: Arktoi Books, 2009.

Dangarembga, Tsitsi. This Mournable Body. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2018.

Davis, Todd. Some Heaven: Poems. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2007.

Dawn, Amber. How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013.

Dentz, Shira. the sun a blazing zero. New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2018.

Hopkinson, Nalo. Report from Planet Midnight Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2012.

Jih, Tristan Allen, and Adam Vines. Day Kink: Poems. Greensboro, NC: Unicorn Press, 2018.

Le Guin, Ursula K. “The Wild Girls” Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2011.

Sato, Hiroaki. On Haiku. New York: New Directions, 2018.

Scenters-Zapico, Natalie. Lima:: Limón. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2019.

Smith, Danez. Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017.

Soto, Christopher, ed. Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color. New York: Nightboat Books, 2018.

Tedesco, Adam. Mary Oliver. Fruita, CO: Lithic Press, 2019.

This is a book of poems about Oliver. Meta!

Tovar, Virgie. You Have the Right to Remain Fat. New York: Feminist Press, 2018.

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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