Books Acquired Recently: MLA Edition

The Modern Language Association (MLA) annual convention was virtual this year, so the book fair was also virtual. Publishers gave their usual in-person conference discounts for online orders made via the convention website. All of my purchases have now arrived. I missed browsing the book fair, but it was nice not to have to figure out how to fit all of my new books into my suitcase for the trip home!

Chavez, Felicia Rose. The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2021.

I am hoping that this book gives me some new ways of looking at both my teaching and my writing.

Gay, Roxane. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. 2017. New York: HarperPerennial, 2018.

I appreciate Gay as a social commentator, but have not read any of her books yet, so I was excited to be able to order this book on sale.

Gieseking, Jen Jack. A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers. New York: New York University Press, 2020.

I’m a queer from New York City! Of course I bought this book.

Giovanni, Nikki. Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose. New York: William Morrow, 2020.

I love Giovanni’s poetry, but I don’t think I’ve read any of her prose before, so I’m looking forward to this hybrid collection.

Headley, Maria Dahvana, trans. Beowulf. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.

I love Beowulf, but I haven’t read it since graduate school when I had to translate it over the course of a semester. I am excited to read this new feminist translation, which I got for free as an exam copy.

Hernandez, Jillian. Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

Even though this book is about women’s aesthetics, I am interested in it because of its examination of members of the Puerto Rican diaspora, of which I am also a part.

Hetherington, Paul, and Cassandra Atherton. Prose Poetry: An Introduction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020.

Some of my essaying has begun feeling a little prose poetry-ish lately, but I don’t have much familiarity with the latter genre. Therefore, I was excited to discover this book via an ad in the convention’s program, and decided to buy it.

Mooney, Jonathan. Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive, Outside the Lines. 2019. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2020.

I ordered a free exam copy of this book about neurodiversity because I am neurodiverse myself.

Moore, Marianne. New Collected Poems. Heather Cass White, ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

I haven’t read much of Moore’s work, but she is an intriguing figure, so I was happy to be able to acquire a free exam copy of this weighty (over 450 pages) tome.

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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