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.

Books Acquired Recently

Delany, Samuel R. Shoat Rumblin: His Sensations and Ideas. N.p.: Samuel R. Delany, 2020.

I just found out about this weighty (539 pages) self-published novel that came out last year, and bought it right away. Delany has had so many difficulties with keeping his books in print throughout his career that it makes sense to publish himself because he already has a large, devoted readership to draw on as a market.

Koestenbaum, Wayne. Figure It Out: Essays. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2020.

I love Koestenbaum’s work and am excited to read this recent collection.

Rekdal, Paisley. Appropriate: A Provocation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2021.

I recently attended a Zoom reading where Rekdal read from this new book on cultural appropriation. This is an issue I have written about and continue to find important, so I look forward to reading her book.

Shapland, Jenn. My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir. 2020. Portland: Tin House, 2021.

I enjoy McCullers’s fiction, and I am also interested in writing that blends memoir and literary history/criticism. I’m therefore looking forward to reading Shapland’s lauded volume on her experiences with McCullers’s work.

Books Acquired Recently: AWP Edition

All of the books I ordered at the AWP virtual bookfair last month have finally arrived! They are books that are either by authors who I saw speak and enjoyed, or that various speakers recommended, or that I saw discussed or advertised on Twitter via the conference’s hashtag. All but Corral’s are somewhere along the memoir/creative nonfiction spectrum.

Ali, Kazim. Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2021.

Bossiere, Zoë, and Dinty W. Moore, eds. The Best of “Brevity”: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction. Brookline, MA: Rose Metal Press, 2020.

Corral, Eduardo C. Guillotine: Poems. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2020.

Cronin, Eileen. Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience. 2014. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015.

Didion, Joan. Salvador. 1983. New York: Vintage International, 1994.

Febos, Melissa. Girlhood: Essays. New York: Bloomsbury, 2021.

Gonsalez, Marcos. Pedro’s Theory: Reimagining the Promised Land. Brooklyn: Melville House, 2021.

Khakpour, Porochista. Sick: A Memoir. New York: Harper Perennial, 2018.

Lisicky, Paul. The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016.

McClanahan, Rebecca. In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays. Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press, 2020.

Miller, E. Ethelbert. The 5th Inning. Oakland: PM Press, 2009.

Mockett, Marie Mutsuki. American Harvest: God, Country, and Farming the Heartland. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2020.

van Eerden, Jessie. The Long Weeping: Portrait Essays. Asheville, NC: Orison Books, 2017.

Wang, Esmé Weijun. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2019.

Writing Activity, March 2021

One of my 2021 goals is to keep a list of my writing activity for each month. I do so partly as a form of encouragement for myself–to show that I am still able to do some writing despite the energy-sucking terrors of the pandemic–and partly as an archive that I can look back on in the future. As such, I will include negative happenings (e.g., receiving rejections), not just positive ones.

I think that it is important for me to share my list publicly as a queer disabled writer of color because mainstream discourse tries to either pretend voices such as mine do not exist or actively tries to suppress them. Whether one is part of a marginalized group or not, writing is an essential act of resistance in these terrible times, so I hope that my list offers encouragement to others.

Here is the list for March (here’s February’s), which is basically in chronological order:

1. Wrote at least one senryu or haiku in my journal most days.

2. Typed up a bunch of miscellaneous notes and writing ideas from my journal.

3. Attended the virtual Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual conference.

4. Had three baseball haiku rejected by Hobart.

5. Submitted five poems to the 2021 Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology for consideration.

6. Had an article on Mennonite speculative fiction accepted by Political Theology. It’s already been published online.

7. Wrote and submitted a book review I was asked to write for Religion & Literature.

8. Had two workshop meetings with a new haiku mentor.

9. Had a poem published in Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America, for the first time. “pandemic / no tan lines / where I wear my watch”

10. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies website.

Books Acquired Recently

Delany, Samuel R. Big Joe. N.p.: Inpatient Press, 2021.

Delany’s latest book, a novella, just came out, and my pre-ordered copy arrived yesterday. It includes some illustrations, but not enough that I would consider it to be a “graphic novel.” It’s exciting that Delany continues to publish new work even though he’s in his late seventies. A writing model for all of us!

Feminist Book Society, ed. This Is How We Come Back Stronger: Feminist Writers on Turning Crisis Into Change. New York: Feminist Press, 2021.

This is a multi-genre anthology of responses to the pandemic by writers from the U.S. and U.K. I haven’t heard of most of them, so I am looking forward to reading some new writers.

Writing Activity, February 2021

As I wrote last month, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep a list of my writing activity for each month. I do so partly as a form of encouragement for myself–to show that I am still able to do some writing despite the energy-sucking terrors of the pandemic–and partly as an archive that I can look back on in the future. As such, I will include negative happenings (e.g., receiving rejections), not just positive ones.

I think that it is important for me to share my list publicly as a queer writer of color because mainstream discourse tries to either pretend voices such as mine do not exist or actively tries to suppress them. Whether one is part of a marginalized group or not, writing is an essential act of resistance in these terrible times, so I hope that my list offers encouragement to others.

Here is the list for February, which is basically in chronological order:

1. Wrote at least one senryu or haiku almost every day in my journal. I ended up taking a few days off here and there as necessary because it was a stressful month.

2. Made some revisions to a book manuscript I’m working on.

3. Began putting together a chapbook manuscript of my haiku and senryu.

4. Helped write a call for papers for an MLA 2022 session on protest poetry.

5. Submitted ten poems to Kingfisher, and had one accepted for the next issue.

6. Attended the February virtual meeting of the Haiku Society of America (HSA) Social Club.

7. Finished an essay and submitted it to an anthology project about Latinx pain.

8. Submitted fifteen poems to Modern Haiku, and had one accepted for the next issue.

9. Read and accepted some scholarly pieces for an anthology I am co-editing about Dungeons & Dragons, and also sent some rejections. We are still accepting submissions of creative writing until June 15!

10. Submitted three poems to Hobart for their annual baseball issue, and haven’t heard back about them yet because the submission deadline has not yet passed.

11. Revised and resubmitted a journal article for a journal that had asked for some revisions.

12. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies website.

Books Acquired Recently: All Queer Edition

Two books that I’ve been eagerly anticipating, Melissa Broder’s new novel (her previous novel, The Pisces, is one of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read) and R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell’s anthology of kinky short stories, came out this week, and my copies have arrived. I also recently ordered Carley Moore’s YA novel because she is going to give a virtual reading organized by Utica College next week that I am looking forward to. All three look like some good pre-Valentine’s Day reading!

Broder, Melissa. Milk Fed. New York: Scribner, 2021.

This book arrived yesterday and I devoured it in one sitting. It’s not quite as good as The Pisces, but is an excellent book.

Kwon, R.O., and Garth Greenwell, eds. Kink: Stories. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021.

Moore, Carley. The Stalker Chronicles. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.

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.

Writing Activity, January 2021

When I was on sabbatical in the first half of 2020 (which feels like “a million centuries ago,” to borrow a phrase from Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, an apt title for our present times), I kept a monthly list of what I accomplished. In the new year, I’ve decided to do something similar with my writing activities. I will do so partly as a form of encouragement for myself–to show that I am still able to do some writing despite the energy-sucking terrors of the pandemic–and partly as an archive that I can look back on in the future. As such, I will include negative happenings (e.g., receiving rejections), not just positive ones.

I think that it is important for me to share my list publicly as a queer writer of color because mainstream discourse tries to either pretend voices such as mine do not exist or actively tries to suppress them. Whether one is part of a marginalized group or not, writing is an essential act of resistance in these terrible times, so I hope that my list offers encouragement to others.

I got a lot done this month because the semester hadn’t started yet. I doubt I will be able to keep up this level of productivity in February, and that is okay.

Without further adieu, the list, which is basically in chronological order:

1. Wrote at least one senryu or haiku per day in my journal.

2. Attended the January virtual meeting of the Haiku Society of America (HSA) Social Club.

3. Typed up a bunch of senryu/haiku from a notebook that I got to the end of.

4. Added some work to a book manuscript about theapoetics that I am working on.

5. Researched some haiku presses.

6. Filled out an information form for the HSA Mentorship Program.

7. Attended the Modern Language Association (MLA) annual convention (a virtual meeting this year), and co-chaired a panel.

8. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies website.

9. Had a senryu published in the December 2020 issue of Kingfisher, which arrived mid-January.

10. Updated the Selected Publications page of my website with information about my MLA panel and my Kingfisher poem.

11. Worked on revisions to another book manuscript I am working on.

12. Got a rejection for an essay I had submitted to an anthology.

13. Gave a friend feedback on a short story draft.

14. Checked in with a publisher about the status of a book proposal I had submitted and heard back that they were not interested.

15. Revised the above-mentioned book proposal and sent it to another publisher.

16. Got asked by a prominent journal in one of my fields to review a book and said yes.

17. Began reading submissions for an anthology I am co-editing. We are accepting submissions until June 15!

18. Had my first meeting with my mentor and fellow mentees as part of the HSA Mentorship Program.

19. Typed up all of my senryu/haiku for January.

Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

The new semester starts on Monday. Here are the books I have received as desk copies.

For Written Communication II:

Aciman, André, ed. The Best American Essays 2020. Boston: Mariner Books, 2020.

Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. They Say, I Say with Readings. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.

For Introduction to Literature:

Rekdal, Paisley, ed. The Best American Poetry 2020. New York: Scribner Poetry, 2020.

For Queer Literature:

Chabon, Michael. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. 1988. New York: Harper Perennial, 2011.

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982. New York: Penguin Books, 2019.