Books Acquired Recently

Coval, Kevin, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Nate Marshall, eds. The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2015.

I bought this book and Perdomo’s when I was recently browsing Haymarket’s April poetry sale (April is National Poetry Month). I have one of the other BreakBeat anthologies (there are currently four) and love it, so I decided to buy the original.

Minor, Lori A. Recycled Virgin. Wilmington, DE: Human/Kind Press, 2020.

I enjoy Minor’s sexually open haiku and senryu, and was excited to hear about this new collection via a glowing review in the recent issue of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America. I bought it immediately.

Perdomo, Willie. Smoking Lovely: The Remix. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2021.

I am interested in Perdomo’s work because he is a Nuyorican like me, and was convinced to buy this book because of the beginning of its blurb, which calls it “an exploration of poetry and the neoliberal city at the intersection of community and commodity.” I love cities and worry about their future in the U.S., so I am excited to see what these poems have to say about them.

Ueda, Makoto, ed. Light Verse from the Floating World: An Anthology of Premodern Japanese Senryu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

I write senryu and recently had this book recommended to me by another poet. Senryu anthologies are fairly rare, so I was happy to hear about the volume.

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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