Books Acquired Recently

Metres, Philip. Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007.

I’ve been reading a lot about poetry’s role in society lately because of the pandemic and came across a citation of this book, which looks fascinating, so I decided to buy it.

Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness. Newburyport, MA: Weiser Books, 2019.

I received this and Warner’s book as anniversary gifts from my partner. I’ve read some of Pollack’s tarot poetry and enjoyed it, so I look forward to reading her classic volume about interpreting the cards.

Swarstad Johnson, Julie. Orchard Light: Poems. Lewisburg, PA: Seven Kitchens Press, 2020.

I first encountered Swarstad Johnson’s poetry earlier this year at the Mennonite Arts Festival and became an immediate fan of it. I bought this chapbook as soon as it was released.

Warner, Andrea. Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2018.

I had not heard of Sainte-Marie before receiving this book, but the dust jacket makes her sound quite interesting, and I look forward to learning more about her.

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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