Books Acquired Recently: Quarantine Edition

I ordered a bunch of books recently because I am not sure how long the pandemic self-isolation situation will last or how long it will still be possible to acquire new books–my local Barnes & Noble closed even before New York’s shelter in place edict went into effect, and many independent bookstores are no longer shipping orders. Some of these books have arrived in the past few days.

Cruz, Cynthia. Other Musics: New Latina Poetry. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019.

I am teaching a Latinx Literature course in the fall and am still working on the syllabus. I bought Cruz’s anthology, along with Guzmán and Morales’s, to check out for possible use as one of my texts. I bought Gurba’s memoir and Rechy’s novel for the same reason.

Gurba, Myriam. Mean. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2017.

Guzmán, Roy G., and Miguel M. Morales, eds. Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando. Richmond, VA: Damaged Goods Press, 2018.

Rechy, John. The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez. 1991. New York: Grove Press, 2001.

silva, ire’ne lara, and Dan Vera, eds. Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2016.

Poetry has been an essential tool of survival for me during the pandemic, and I have been trying to stockpile as much of it as possible, which is part of why four of these six books belong to the genre. I have been reading lots of Gloria Anzaldúa’s work over the past half-year, so now I am beginning to read other writers’ work about her and her ideas.

Smart, Christopher. A Selection of Poetry. Ed. David Wheeler. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2012.

I’ve always enjoyed the most famous part of Smart’s poem “Jubilate Agno” about his cat, Jeoffry, and decided that it would be nice to read the entire poem. This is apparently the only edition of his work currently in print.

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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