Books Acquired Recently

Choi, Franny. Soft Science: Poems. Farmington, ME: Alice James Books, 2019.

I read Choi’s previous full-length collection, Floating, Brilliant, Gone, last year and loved it, so when I heard about Soft Science I decided to buy it right away. The book was out of stock for a little while, so my copy just came today. I appreciate hugely workers who are still fulfilling book orders in these terrible times.

Miller, Evie Yoder. Shadows. Scruples on the Line: A Fictional Series Set During the American Civil War, Book I. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2020.

I saw Miller read an excerpt from this novel last month at the Mennonite Arts Festival in Cincinnati and ordered it as soon as it came out a few weeks later.

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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