Books Acquired Recently

I was in Manhattan to run a necessary but quick errand on 14th Street today, and thought I might as well stop by the Strand while I was in the neighborhood to make the trip more worthwhile. I bought these four books, all of which I’ve had my eye on. It was nice to buy them from an independent bookshop.

Berrigan, Ted. Get the Money! Collected Prose (1961-1983). Edited by Edmund Berrigan, Anselm Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Nick Sturm. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2022.

Chen, Chen. Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency: Poems. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, 2022.

Gomez, Edgar. High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2022.

Rivera, Gabby. Juliet Takes a Breath. Illustrated by Celia Moscote. Los Angeles: Boom! Box, 2021.

Snow, Cassandra, and Siri Vincent Plouff. Lessons from the Empress: A Tarot Workbook for Self-Care and Creative Growth. Newburyport, MA: Weiser Books, 2022.

Earlier this week, I received Cassandra Snow’s new book, which I had pre-ordered. She is one of my favorite tarot writers, so I look forward to reading it!

Books Acquired Recently

Gentili, Cecilia. Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist. Brooklyn: LittlePuss Press, 2022.

I had pre-ordered this book that, according to its blurb, “reinvents the trans memoir, putting it squarely back between the writer and her various enemies.” Very Frank O’Hara/Personism-esque! My copy came in the mail yesterday.

Smith, Tracy K., ed. The Best American Poetry 2021. New York: Scribner Poetry, 2021.

Zapruder, Matthew, ed. The Best American Poetry 2022. New York: Scribner Poetry, 2022.

As I mention here, I decided I should start reading The Best American Essays every year. I’ve decided the same about The Best American Poetry, and went to buy the 2021 edition. When doing so, I discovered that the 2022 edition is already out (it comes out two months earlier than the Essays!), so I bought it too.

Books Acquired Recently

Abdelmahmoud, Elamin. Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces. New York: Ballantine Books, 2022.

I read about this book in an article in Poets & Writers and was intrigued by its subtitle. I’ve been struggling with the form of my own memoir (Is it essays? Is it a single narrative?), so I decided to buy Abdelmahmoud’s to see if I could learn anything from its form.

Snediker, Michael D. Contingent Figure: Chronic Pain and Queer Embodiment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2021.

A friend of mine gave me this book after she found out that I am interested in queer disability studies. The blurb says that the book “Juxtapos[es] close readings […] with candid autobiographical accounts,” a hybrid form that my work also engages in.

Vallese, Joe, ed. It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror. New York: Feminist Press, 2022.

I know the editor of this anthology, and my pre-ordered copy just arrived!

Writing Activity, August 2022

Since January 2021, I’ve been keeping a list of my writing activity for each month (here’s last month’s). 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 (Which is still going on! Keep wearing masks!), 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.

The list is basically in chronological order.

1. Wrote a haiku or senryu on most mornings.

2. Submitted ten poems to Kingfisher and had two accepted.

3. Worked on revisions to my memoir.

4. Had a poem accepted by Frogpond.

5. Submitted three poems to Heterodox Haiku and had two accepted. It was a good month for haiku after a long dry spell!

6. Had a personal essay rejected by two journals and submitted it to another journal.

7. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies.

8. Began the third semester of my MFA program.

Books Acquired Recently

Hudes, Quiara Alegría. My Broken Language: A Memoir. 2021. New York: One World, 2022.

My sister recommended this memoir to me because she said it relates some to our childhood experiences, so I’m interested to see how.

Murillo, John. Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry. New York: Four Way Books, 2020.

I’m teaching Murillo’s first poetry collection in my Intro to Lit course this semester, so I bought his most recent book to get a fuller understanding of his work.

Sandler, Irving. Goodbye to Tenth Street. Seattle: Pleasure Boat Studio, 2018.

I just read about this novel in Ada Calhoun’s excellent recent memoir, Also a Poet, about writing about Frank O’Hara, my favorite poet. He is apparently a character in the novel, so of course I want to read it.

Schulz, Kathryn, ed. The Best American Essays 2021. Boston: Mariner Books, 2021.

As someone who writes creative nonfiction I decided I should make it a goal to read The Best American Essays every year as a way to keep an eye on what’s going on in the genre. The 2022 volume comes out in a few months, so it was time to get 2021’s.

Williams, Erin. Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame. New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2019.

Williams is one of my new MFA classmates, so I am excited to read her graphic memoir!

Books Acquired Recently

I visited Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books in Philadelphia for the first time yesterday. I had previously heard of the store because they were the local booksellers at this year’s AWP conference bookfair, so it was exciting to get to see their physical space. I bought the following two memoirish books:

Arceneaux, Michael. I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé. New York: Atria, 2018.

Hong, Cathy Park. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. 2020. New York: One World, 2021.

I also received the following books in the mail over the past week. I’ve been doing some research about the Nuyorican, hence my purchase of Aloud. I’ve also been obsessing over baseball this summer, and Grossinger and Conrad’s anthology came up in a Google search for something else last week. I decided to buy it because I found a copy online for only $7.00.

Algarín, Miguel, and Bob Holman, eds. Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. New York: Henry Holt, 1994.

Grossinger, Richard, and Lisa Conrad, eds. Baseball I Gave You All the Best Years of My Life. 5th ed. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1992.

Books Acquired Recently: Back to School/Puerto Rican History Edition

This semester I’m teaching a course at Hunter College called Distinguished Living Writers, which examines the books of the authors reading in Hunter’s Distinguished Writers reading series during the semester. My copies of the books for the course just arrived (in Batuman’s case, I ordered her previous books as background research).

Batuman, Elif. Either/Or. New York: Penguin Press, 2022.

—. The Idiot. 2017. New York: Penguin Books, 2018.

—. The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.

Mishra, Pankaj. Run and Hide. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.

Murillo, John. Up Jump the Boogie. 2010. New York: Four Way Books, 2020.

Nunez, Elizabeth. Now Lila Knows. Brooklyn: Akashic Books, 2022.

I’m feeling the need to read more Puerto Rican history as I work on my memoir. I acquired these four books as part of that effort.

Haslip-Viera, Gabriel. Race, Identity and Indigenous Politics: Puerto Rican Neo-Taínos in the Diaspora and the Island. 2nd ed. New York: Latino Studies Press, 2019.

Jaime, Karen. The Queer Nuyorican: Racialized Sexualities and Aesthetics in Loisaida. New York: New York University Press, 2021.

Keegan, William F. Taíno Indian Myth and Practice: The Arrival of the Stranger King. 2007. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2022.

Noel, Urayoán. Invisible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2014.

Rogers, Katina L. Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and Beyond the Classroom. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

I’ll be on the job market this coming school year as I finish my MFA, so I bought this book to help inspire my job search.

Writing Activity, July 2022

Since January 2021, I’ve been keeping a list of my writing activity for each month (here’s last month’s). 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 (Which is still going on! Keep wearing masks!), 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.

The list is basically in chronological order.

1. Wrote a haiku or senryu on most mornings.

2. Became a creative nonfiction and criticism co-editor for Solar literary journal. Submissions are open for these genres as well as poetry and fiction!

3. As part of the organizing committee, did some social media posting about the Mennonite/s Writing conference happening at the end of September.

4. Had a lyric poem rejected from a journal.

5. Submitted ten haiku/senryu to Frogpond.

6. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies.

7. Had a personal essay rejected from a journal and submitted it to two other journals.

8. Worked on revisions to a personal essay that is coming out in an edited collection next year.

9. Worked on revisions to a scholarly book manuscript.

Books Acquired Recently: Strand Edition

Yesterday I had some running around to do in Manhattan, so I decided to add the Strand to my itinerary. Here’s what I bought:

Conklin, Lydia. Rainbow Rainbow: Stories. New York: Catapult, 2022.

I saw some laudatory posts about this collection on Twitter, and decided to buy it because it sounds like the stories are not the usual queer tropes.

Gutiérrez, Raquel. Brown Neon: Essays. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2022.

This essay collection was on the queer literature table and the title caught my eye. I’m always interested in reading other queer Latinx narratives.

Kauffman, Rebecca. Chorus. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2022.

I’ve been looking to buy this Mennonite novel since it came out earlier this year, but every time I was somewhere I thought they would have it they didn’t. So it was fun to find it on the small press table.

Kraus, Chris. I Love Dick. 1997. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2006.

I’ve read a lot about this novel, but have never actually read it, so I was excited to find a copy in the stacks.

AWP’s Response to My Letter About The Writer’s Chronicle Going Fully Digital

A few days ago, I wrote about AWP’s decision to stop publishing a print version of The Writer’s Chronicle. Today I received this reply:

“Hi Daniel,

We are truly sorry you have concerns, and we do understand your frustration. All factors were considered as part of the decision-making process, including the cost to produce and ship The Writer’s Chronicle. We are committed to providing the best reading experience possible using the resources available to us. 


All we ask is that you give the digital version of The Writer’s Chronicle a chance and explore all the features it has to offer before making a final decision to unsubscribe. Of course, if you are certain that you would no longer like to receive access to the magazine, we offer prorated refunds for subscriptions.

Thank you for your continued support.”

So to me it sounds like the decision was a financial one, not one motivated (or at least not primarily motivated) by making the magazine more accessible as AWP’s initial email suggested. But the response is vague enough that it’s hard to tell; it contains none of the “transparency” I asked for. That may be coming in another mass email to members, we’ll see. I was sincere in my reply when I said that the organization should be honest with members if it is having financial difficulties (or if it isn’t, which is hopefully the case). Members have a right to know. In general, the societal taboo surrounding talking about money because it is somehow “impolite” is a capitalist tool of oppression, so we need more honesty about money all around.