Category Archives: Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Cameron, Melanie. Holding the Dark. Winnipeg: The Muses’ Company, 1999.

I first encountered Cameron’s poetry in a 1999 issue of Rhubarb, the journal of the Mennonite Literary Society. The poem there is about two women who are lovers. Queer Mennonite literature is, of course, one of my academic specialties, so I decided to buy the collection from which the poem came.

I purchased this book from’s network of independent booksellers.

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. The Latin Deli: Telling the Lives of Barrio Women. 1993. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995.

I received this mixed-genre book, Sharif’s collection of poems, and Sherman’s book as early birthday gifts yesterday. I’ve already finished Sharif’s, which was fantastic.

Rich, Adrienne. Adrienne Rich: Poetry and Prose. 2nd ed. Edited by Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi, Albert Gelpi, and Brett Millier. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.

I just received an exam copy of this revised edition from the publisher in the mail. The first edition from 1993 is excellent. This new edition includes a robust selection of Rich’s work from the last two decades of her life.

Sharif, Solmaz. Look. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016.

Sherman, Erik. Kings of Queens: Life Beyond Baseball with the ’86 Mets. New York: Berkley Books, 2016.

Tinsley, Omise’eke Natasha. Ezili’s Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

The queer/people of color intersection is another one of my research interests, as is religion and literature, so I bought this book that examines all three of these areas directly from the publisher as soon as I heard about it.


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Books Acquired Recently

Agüeros, Jack. “Dominoes” and Other Stories from the Puerto Rican. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993.

—. Sonnets from the Puerto Rican. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press, 1996.

I recently finished reading Roberto Márquez’s anthology Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times, and discovered through it a number of writers whose work I would like to read more of. I purchased Agüeros’s books and the Morales’s book as a start to this curriculum.

Butler, Isaac, and Dan Kois. The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of “Angels in America.” New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is my favorite play (though I must say that I hate the revised version that came out in 2013, which is clunky in comparison to the original), so I bought this oral history about the play’s history as soon as I heard about it.

Morales, Aurora Levins, and Rosario Morales. Getting Home Alive. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books, 1986.

This is a book of poetry by a mother (Rosario) and daughter (Aurora). When I received the book I happily discovered that it is signed by Aurora.

All four books were purchased from’s network of independent booksellers.

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Book Acquired Recently: Shelter Management by Abigail Carl-Klassen

Carl-Klassen, Abigail. Shelter Management. Chicago: Dancing Girl Press & Studio, 2017.

I received this chapbook of poems in the mail a few days ago. Carl-Klassen is a member of the second generation of Mennonite writers and a good friend, so I pre-ordered the book as soon as I could and it finally arrived. I’ve already read through it and it is excellent. Anyone interested in social justice will enjoy it. You can order it here.

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Books Acquired Recently: 2012 Edition

Mann, Jeff. Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War. Maple Shade, NJ: Bear Bones Books, 2012.

I recently heard about this piece of gay erotica from a friend who thought she was acquiring another book–the cover and first few pages were of the book she thought she was getting–but found a piece of Purgatory bound inside the cover instead. A weird printing error that is certainly “queer”! I liked her story so much I decided to buy Mann’s book itself and check it out.

Stuckey, Priscilla. Kissed by a Fox and Other Stories of Friendship in Nature. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press, 2012.

I recently read an interview with Stuckey, a Mennonite writer, about her nature writing. It intrigued me enough that I decided to buy her first book to see what her work is like. The copy I got is inscribed by her, which is always a nice surprise.

Both books were acquired from’s network of independent booksellers.

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Books Acquired Recently: Cincinnati Edition

This weekend I went to the Cincinnati Mennonite Arts Weekend for the first time. It was so much fun! Of course I bought some books. I also visited the Half Price Books near my hotel, where I purchased Roberts’, Brown’s, and Sohl’s texts.

Brown, Rita Mae. Poems. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1987.

I love Brown’s classic lesbian novel Rubyfruit Jungle, but am unfamiliar with her poetry. I got this copy of her early poems in excellent shape for only $5.48.

Lachman, Becca J.R. Other Acreage. Boston: Gold Wake Press, 2015.

Lachman was one of the featured speakers at the event, and I was able to have my copy of her book signed, something that is still always exciting!

Roberts, JR. Black Lesbians: An Annotated Bibliography. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1981.

I bought this book simply for archiving purposes because I love old books. It’s in great shape and I got it for only $2.98. It is an excellent example of the hugely important preservation and recovery work undertaken by feminists and queers in the 1970s and early 1980s that got published by tiny independent presses because large publishers assumed (often incorrectly) that there was not a market for it.

Samatar, Del, and Sofia Samatar. Monster Portraits. Brookline, MA: Rose Metal Press, 2018.

I am friends with Sofia Samatar and hanging out with her was one of the highlights of my weekend. Her new book, which includes artwork by her brother that she then responds to in prose, is officially coming out later this month, but she had some copies with her for sale.

Sohl, Jerry. Night Slaves. Greenwich, CT: Gold Medal Books, 1965.

Half Price Books had a rack at the front of the store full of old pulp fiction paperbacks. I bought this one for $3.00 because it sounds kinky: the villain keeps the inhabitants of a planet hypnotized and the hero has to try to stop him.

Wideman, Johnny. This Will Lead to Dancing. Stouffville, ON: Theatre of the Beat, 2014.

—. To Aid Digestion: A Collection of Short Stories and Poems. Stouffville, ON: Theatre of the Beat, 2017.

I had never heard of Theatre of the Beat, a Mennonite acting troupe, but they gave an amazing, moving performance of This Will Lead to Dancing on Saturday afternoon. Their work is focused on queer issues, and is thus immediately relevant to my scholarship on queer Mennonite literature.

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Books Acquired Recently: More Queer Books Edition

Irby, Samantha. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays. New York: Vintage Books, 2017.

I read about this essay collection on Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian and decided to buy it immediately because I have been looking for new queer life writing that might be suitable to use for teaching. I bought this and McGuire’s book from’s network of independent booksellers.

McGuire, Seanan. Every Heart a Doorway. New York: Tor, 2016.

I am teaching a queer literature course this semester and mentioned that I did not know of any books about asexual characters to include in the course, though I am sure that they exist. A student did some research online and found out about this book, which supposedly does include a major asexual character, so I bought it immediately. I had not heard of McGuire before, but apparently they are a highly lauded science fiction writer. Once again, speculative fiction and queer fiction go hand in hand!

Richardson, Suzanne. Oh Niagara! Utica, NY: Suzanne Richardson, 2018.

I bought this zine by a colleague of mine at the Tramontane Cafe in Utica. It was produced to commemorate the Tram’s tenth anniversary earlier this month.

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Books Acquired Recently: MLA Plus Three Edition


I got back from the Modern Language Association convention in New York City today. I was fairly restrained at the book fair, buying only twelve books. I purchased all of them at a discount (and the McEwan novel was free), some for as little as $3.00. Nearly all of them either relate to my scholarly interests in queer literature and/or ethnic literature or are by favorite authors.

Adler, Melissa. Cruising the Library: Perversities in the Organization of Knowledge. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.

Blanco, Richard. The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. 2014. New York: Ecco, 2015.

Castiglia, Christopher. The Practices of Hope: Literary Criticism in Disenchanted Times. New York: New York University Press, 2017.

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015.

De Kosnik, Abigail. Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2016.

Ensler, Eve. The Vagina Monologues. 20th Anniversary Edition. New York: Ballantine Books, 2018.

Erdrich, Louise. Future Home of the Living God. New York: Harper, 2017.

Klosterman, Chuck. X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2017.

Looby, Christopher, ed. “The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman” and Other Queer Nineteenth Century Short Stories. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

McEwan, Ian. Nutshell. 2016. New York: Anchor Books, 2017.

Schaberg, Christopher. The End of Airports. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

Thiong’o, Ngũgĩ Wa. Devil on the Cross. 1982. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

Plus Three:

Althaus-Reid, Marcella. Indecent Theology: Theological Perversions in Sex, Gender and Politics. New York: Routledge, 2000.

I have seen this book cited numerous times in my recent reading of queer theology and thus decided to buy it and read it for myself. I purchased it and Shikibu’s novel from’s network of independent booksellers.

Lowrey, Sassafras. Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy Tales. Beverly, MA: Ravenous Romance, 2013.

I have looked long and hard for this out-of-print anthology, and was able to finally get one of the few remaining copies from the author hirself. Ze was kind enough to inscribe it to me as well!

Shikibu, Murasaki. The Tale of Genji. Trans. Royall Tyler. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.

A student of mine who is interested in Eastern literature recommended this book to me and I promised them I would read it before the beginning of the Spring semester.


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