Books Acquired Recently

I received two books in the mail today that I’m quite excited to read. They are both by authors whose previous work I find powerful.

Levins Morales, Aurora. Medicine Stories: Essays for Radicals. Revised and Expanded ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I’ve read some of Levins Morales’s poetry but have not previously encountered her essays. I am excited to read more of her work because she occupies a similar intersection as I do as a Puerto Rican from an ethnoreligious tradition.

Lowrey, Sassafras. Healing/Heeling. N.p.: Sassafras Lowrey, 2019.

This is a hybrid memoir that examines Lowrey’s relationships with dogs throughout hir life (ze has been training dogs since ze was a teenager). I am not a dog person but I love Lowrey’s writing and, as I’ve written here before, I’m also currently quite interested in the hybrid memoir genre.

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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