Books Acquired Recently

Friesen, Patrick. Outlasting the Weather: Selected and New Poems 1994-2020. Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020.

As I just wrote here, Patrick Friesen is one of the most important Mennonite writers ever. It is therefore very exciting that his second volume of Selected Poems is now out.

Lisicky, Paul. Later: My Life at the Edge of the World. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2020.

Lisicky came and read at Utica College a few years ago. He’s a nice guy, so I’ve read some of his work since then, and appreciate its unabashed queerness. Memoir Twitter is all abuzz about his new memoir, and it sounds fascinating, so I decided to buy it.

Miller, E. Ethelbert. If God Invented Baseball: Poems. Westport, CT: City Point Press, 2018.

Miller has an article in the latest issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. After reading it, I decided to look up his work. I was excited to discover that he has a poetry collection about baseball, and decided that it sounded like a good book to acquire as an introduction to his work.

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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