Books Acquired Recently

Brooks, Randy M., ed. Student Haiku & Senryu Anthology: The Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Competition. Haiku Society of America, 2020.

I received this anthology in the mail as a benefit of my Haiku Society of America membership. It was slated to come out last year, but just arrived due to pandemic-related delays.

Martínez, Demetria. Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.

I recently came across an interview of Martínez that was intriguing enough that I decided to buy her memoir. I had never heard of her before, but am intrigued by her interest in blending religiosity with feminism. Having to excavate Latinx literary history that is only fifteen years old feels a little disheartening, though that is how the slaughterhouse of literature works sometimes.

Sayrafiezadeh, Saïd. American Estrangement: Stories. New York: W.W. Norton, 2021.

I am excited to read this new collection of stories by one of my professors. His previous collection of stories, Brief Encounters with the Enemy, does an excellent job of capturing the feel of our U.S. dystopia, and from what I’ve heard, American Estrangement does more of the same. A timely book.

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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