Books Acquired Recently: All Queer Edition

Dawn, Amber, and Justin Ducharm, eds. Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019.

I’ve had this anthology on my to-buy list for a while and finally bought it now because I am desperate for all of the poetry I can get during this pandemic.

Halberstam, Jack. Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018.

Halberstam is an author whose work has been important for my own (especially The Queer Art of Failure) and for trans* (some people prefer the asterisk in this term, some don’t, the current usage keeps shifting; personally I don’t have a preference because it’s not my place to as a cis person to say which is proper, so I will use it here because Halberstam’s title does) studies in general. I am embarrassed that I missed this book when it first came out two years ago, but I just recently read Kathryn Bond Stockton’s Avidly Reads Making Out and it is cited there. When I read this citation I bought the book right away.

Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015.

I was on the Arsenal Pulp website to buy Dawn and Ducharm’s anthology and saw an ad for Piepzna-Samarasinha’s book. It looked interesting, so I decided to buy it because I have been reading a lot of queer memoir lately.

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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