Books Acquired Recently

Bombardier, Cooper Lee. Pass with Care: Memoirs. New York: Dottir Press, 2020.

I first encountered Bombardier’s work in the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. His story there is fantastic, and I was excited to discover months ago on social media that he was coming out with a memoir. I pre-ordered it then and it arrived a few days ago.

Dunham, B. Mabel. Toward Sodom. Toronto: Macmillan, 1927.

I recently learned about Dunham and her path-breaking writing in the field of Mennonite literature. Her novel The Trail of the Conestoga might be the first Mennonite novel in English, and its sequel, Toward Sodom, might be the second. I was able to find a used copy of the latter online. It arrived in the mail today.

Zapruder, Matthew. Why Poetry. New York: Ecco, 2017.

As I mentioned in a recent post, “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of literature in apocalyptic times such as these. Reading poetry on a daily basis is helping me to survive emotionally. Therefore, I’ve been looking for texts related to this subject.” Acquiring Zapruder’s book is part of these explorations.

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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