Books Acquired Recently: Albany Book Festival Edition

Yesterday I attended the second annual Albany Book Festival at SUNY Albany. It was an excellent time, with readings by big-name authors, writing workshops, and a large book fair of local authors and their work. I showed great restraint and only bought four books, all of which I was able to get inscribed.

Bartow, Stuart. quaking marsh. Winchester, VA: Pond Frog Editions, 2018.

Bartow and Ungar ran a haiku workshop that I attended and enjoyed. They had a table together at the book fair and I bought a book from each of them. They had a deal where each book was $15.00 or two for $25.00.

Jimenez, Stephanie. They Could Have Named Her Anything. New York: Little A, 2019.

Jimenez and Moraga spoke on a Latina writers panel. I had not heard of Jimenez before but her novel takes place in New York City, so I look forward to reading it.

Little A is amazon.com’s relatively new publishing arm. I appreciate that despite their evilness they are willing to publish new authors of color.

Moraga, Cherríe. Native Country of the Heart: A Memoir. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.

Moraga is a foundational queer Latinx writer and I was excited to buy her memoir and get to meet her briefly.

Incidentally, it drives me nuts that FSG does not use the Oxford Comma in their name.

Ungar, Barbara Louise. Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life. Washington, D.C.: The Word Works, 2011.

I bought this particular book of Ungar’s because of the title. It is about divorce, a topic I am unfortunately familiar with. I am already more than a third of the way through the collection and enjoying it thus far.

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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