Books Acquired Recently

Ashbery, John. A Wave: Poems. New York: Viking Press, 1984.

I have been reading lots of haiku lately, and I also love the New York School of poets, so when I heard about this collection in which Ashbery includes haiku and haibun (a related form that combines prose with haiku), I decided to order it.

Carl-Klassen, Abigail. Ain’t Country Like You. Maywood, NJ: Digging Press, 2020.

Carl-Klassen is an important member of the younger generation of Mennonite poets and also a friend. I am super-excited to have received a copy of her new collection in the mail today! The book’s cover is beautiful.

Crispin, Jessa. The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life. New York: Touchstone, 2016.

As I’ve been reading about the tarot over the past year I’ve become more and more interested in its connections to storytelling and literature. I recently came across a review of Crispin’s book, which discusses using tarot to help inspire one’s creative process and thus relates to these connections. Therefore, I decided to check it out for myself.

Kasdorf, Julia Spicher, Christopher Reed, and Joyce Henri Robinson, eds. Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer. University Park, PA: Palmer Museum of Art, 2020.

This is the exhibition book for a retrospective exhibition of Warren Rohrer’s paintings and Jane Rohrer’s poetry that was supposed to happen this past spring, but has been rescheduled for 2021. Happily, though, the book itself is now available. It’s a beautiful volume with lots of painting reproductions as well as a selection of Rohrer’s poems. The list of essayists also looks enticing.

Ross, Bruce, Kōko Katō, Dietmar Tauchner, and Patricia Prime, eds. A Vast Sky: An Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku. Bangor, ME: Tancho Press, 2015.

I recently came across a citation of this anthology in another haiku anthology. Its global scope sounds fascinating, so I decided to buy 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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