Books Acquired Recently: New York School Edition

Ashbery, John. Girls on the Run: A Poem. 1999. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.

Girls on the Run is a poem about the “outsider artist” Henry Darger, who is a figure I have been fascinated by for the past decade or so. I enjoy Ashbery’s work in general, but have read less than half of it because he was so prolific. When I heard he had written a book about Darger, I put it on my to-read list. Over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling the need to read more of his work, so I decided to order this book.

O’Hara, Frank. Early Writing. Ed. Donald Allen. Bolinas, CA: Grey Fox Press, 1977.

O’Hara has been my favorite poet for many years. I’ve had this collection of his college poems on my to-buy list for a while, and finally got around to it.

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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