Books Acquired Recently

Enns, Victor. Love & Surgery. Regina, SK: Radiant Press, 2019.

Enns has played an important role in the Mennonite literary scene because he was the founder and sometimes editor of Rhubarb, the journal of the Mennonite Literary Society. I have not read his earlier work, which dates back to Turnstone Press’s chapbook days of the late 1970s, but decided to buy his latest collection because it is in part about his divorce, a subject that has affected my own life. I began reading it as soon as it came in the mail and it is an excellent book.

Wheitner, Dave. The Snuggle Party Guidebook: Create Deeper Friendships, Decrease Loneliness, & Enjoy Nurturing Touch Community. Portland, OR: Divergent Drummer Publications, 2014.

I have heard of snuggle parties, sometimes also known as cuddle parties, but know very little about them. They seem like a queer subject, so I decided to buy this book to learn more.

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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