Tag Archives: Books Acquired Recently

Books Acquired Recently: New York School Edition

Ashbery, John. Girls on the Run: A Poem. 1999. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.

Girls on the Run is a poem about the “outsider artist” Henry Darger, who is a figure I have been fascinated by for the past decade or so. I enjoy Ashbery’s work in general, but have read less than half of it because he was so prolific. When I heard he had written a book about Darger, I put it on my to-read list. Over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling the need to read more of his work, so I decided to order this book.

O’Hara, Frank. Early Writing. Ed. Donald Allen. Bolinas, CA: Grey Fox Press, 1977.

O’Hara has been my favorite poet for many years. I’ve had this collection of his college poems on my to-buy list for a while, and finally got around to it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Bennett, Jane. Influx and Efflux: Writing Up with Walt Whitman. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

I received a promotional email for this book and ordered it because I love Whitman and the book sounded fascinating. The publisher labels it as “Political Theory” on the back cover, but the Library of Congress subject headings all relate to literature, so it promises to be an interesting hybrid.

Dueck, Cameron. Menno Moto: A Journey Across the Americas in Search of My Mennonite Identity. Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2020.

I like road trip narratives and Mennonite narratives, so I pre-ordered this book when I heard about it a few months ago, and it came this week.

Kaplan, Stuart R., et al. Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story. Stamford, CT: U.S. Games Systems, 2018.

As I’ve continued my explorations of the tarot over the past year, I’ve become more and more interested by the art of different decks. I’ve been reading some about the traditional Rider-Waite deck recently and decided to learn more about its artist, Pamela Colman Smith, and thus bought this book.

Rosenstock, Gabriel. Haiku Enlightenment. Expanded ed. N.p.: Poetry Chaikhana, 2019.

I recently read a review of this book in Frogpond and decided to order it because I am interested in the spiritual aspects of haiku alongside its literary aspects.

 

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Books Acquired Recently

Acevedo, Elizabeth. With the Fire on High. New York: HarperTeen, 2019.

I recently tore through Acevedo’s novel The Poet X, which is a fantastic book. I want to read more of her work, and I decided With the Fire on High would be the piece I read next because food is a major theme in it.

Kelly, Joseph. The Seagull Book of Poems. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.

I was on campus today for the first time since early March to pick up some books from my office. I discovered when I checked my mail that Norton had sent me an unexpected examination copy of this anthology. Poetry anthologies are one of my bibliophiliac obsessions, so it was a nice surprise.

Official SCRABBLE Words. Glasgow: Collins, 2020.

I haven’t had an up-to-date SCRABBLE (N.B., the game’s title’s proper typographic form is in all caps) dictionary in a number of years, and decided that it was time to buy a new one. Note that this volume is technically not a “dictionary” in that it doesn’t have definitions. It is a word list with all of the words that are playable in tournaments (1191 pages’ worth!), including obscenities, epithets, and so on. The SCRABBLE dictionary published by Merriam-Webster that is found in most bookstores is for “family friendly” casual play, and thus does not include the complete word list, but does include short definitions of each word as an educational tool.

Roberts, Laura Schmidt, Paul Martens, and Myron A. Penner, eds. Recovering from the Anabaptist Vision: New Essays in Anabaptist Identity and Theological Method. London: T&T Clark, 2020.

This is an important new volume in Mennonite studies. Even though theology is not my research area, I try to keep abreast of what’s going on in all of the “big four” areas of Mennonite scholarship, history, literature, sociology, and theology.

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Books Acquired Recently

Metres, Philip. Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007.

I’ve been reading a lot about poetry’s role in society lately because of the pandemic and came across a citation of this book, which looks fascinating, so I decided to buy it.

Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness. Newburyport, MA: Weiser Books, 2019.

I received this and Warner’s book as anniversary gifts from my partner. I’ve read some of Pollack’s tarot poetry and enjoyed it, so I look forward to reading her classic volume about interpreting the cards.

Swarstad Johnson, Julie. Orchard Light: Poems. Lewisburg, PA: Seven Kitchens Press, 2020.

I first encountered Swarstad Johnson’s poetry earlier this year at the Mennonite Arts Festival and became an immediate fan of it. I bought this chapbook as soon as it was released.

Warner, Andrea. Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2018.

I had not heard of Sainte-Marie before receiving this book, but the dust jacket makes her sound quite interesting, and I look forward to learning more about her.

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Books Acquired Recently

Bombardier, Cooper Lee. Pass with Care: Memoirs. New York: Dottir Press, 2020.

I first encountered Bombardier’s work in the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. His story there is fantastic, and I was excited to discover months ago on social media that he was coming out with a memoir. I pre-ordered it then and it arrived a few days ago.

Dunham, B. Mabel. Toward Sodom. Toronto: Macmillan, 1927.

I recently learned about Dunham and her path-breaking writing in the field of Mennonite literature. Her novel The Trail of the Conestoga might be the first Mennonite novel in English, and its sequel, Toward Sodom, might be the second. I was able to find a used copy of the latter online. It arrived in the mail today.

Zapruder, Matthew. Why Poetry. New York: Ecco, 2017.

As I mentioned in a recent post, “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of literature in apocalyptic times such as these. Reading poetry on a daily basis is helping me to survive emotionally. Therefore, I’ve been looking for texts related to this subject.” Acquiring Zapruder’s book is part of these explorations.

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Books Acquired Recently

Back, Rachel Tzvia. What Use is Poetry the Poet is Asking. Bristol, UK: Shearsman Books, 2019.

I received this book from a friend. She lives in Tulsa, where Magic City Books recently held a sale of some books that Joy Harjo donated from her personal library as a fundraiser for a local food bank. The book is inscribed to Harjo by Back and came with a letter from Harjo to the purchaser. So it is a fantastic object. I am enjoying the poetry as well thus far.

Dunham, Mabel. The Trail of the Conestoga. 1924. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1970.

I recently heard about this novel, which may be the oldest Mennonite novel in English, which is why I am interested in it. I was able to find a new copy of the 1990 reprinting of the 1970 printing online, and it came today.

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Books Acquired Recently

Lerner, Ben. The Hatred of Poetry. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of literature in apocalyptic times such as these. Reading poetry on a daily basis is helping me to survive emotionally. Therefore, I’ve been looking for texts related to this subject, and decided it was time to read Lerner’s book, which I’ve known about for a while but which had not previously appealed to me.

Machado, Carmen Maria, ed. The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019. Boston: Mariner Books, 2019.

I bought this book because Sofia Samatar has a story in it (Mennonite writers represent!), but I also like a number of other authors who are included, and I love Machado’s work, so I am excited to see what her editorial taste is like.

Tea, Michelle. Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions, & Criticisms. New York: Feminist Press, 2018.

I enjoy Tea’s work (especially Modern Tarot, which I read every morning), and I’ve been writing more creative nonfiction lately, so I decided that it would be a good idea to read her book about the genre.

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Books Acquired Recently

Mierau, Maurice. How Mind and Body Move: The Poetry of Patrick Friesen. Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow Press, 2018.

I recently encountered a citation of this book in Magdalene Redekop’s Making Believe and ordered it immediately. According to the book’s “Colophon,” it was “published in a limited edition of 100 copies,” so I am glad that there was still one left for me because Friesen is one of the foundational figures of Mennonite poetry and I have long enjoyed his work. My copy is numbered 86.

Rosaldo, Renato. The Chasers. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I received a promotional email about this book of poetry when it was published, and it sounded fascinating, so I kept it in mind. I ordered it last month during Duke University Press’s 50% off sale and it came a few days ago.

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Books Acquired Recently: Duke Sale Edition

I recently ordered a few more books from Duke University Press because they had a 50% off sale for most of May. Two of them came in the mail yesterday.

Crawley, Ashton C. The Lonely Letters. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

This book got on my radar via a promotional email, and I decided to buy it because it is at the intersection of “black queer studies / religion / creative nonfiction,” to cite the marketing labels on its back cover. I am interested in all of these fields as a reader and as a writer, so I am excited to read the book.

Fisher, Gary. Gary in Your Pocket: Stories and Notebooks of Gary Fisher. Ed. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.

I’ve been catching up on my Sedgwick reading during the pandemic, and am now at the point where I am reading secondary texts/texts peripheral to her oeuvre. This book falls into that category. Apparently some of Fisher’s work is kinky erotica, so I am especially looking forward to reading it. I must say, though, that when I opened the package of books I was disappointed to see that Gary in Your Pocket is not pocket-sized despite its title. A missed opportunity!

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Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Mennonite, Mostly Canadian, Mostly Poetry Edition

Carter, Terry Ann. Haiku in Canada: History, Poetry, Memoir. Victoria, BC: Ekstasis Editions, 2020.

I saw an advertisement for this book in the latest issue of the Haiku Society of America’s newsletter and decided to buy it because I am still fairly new to the haiku community and don’t know much of its history. I also enjoy reading literary history in general, so I am looking forward to learning from this book.

Redekop, Magdalene. Making Believe: Questions About Mennonites and Art. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2020.

Magdalene Redekop has been involved in the field of Mennonite literature since its critical beginnings in the 1980s. This is her first book about the field. I finished it last night (I began reading it as soon as I received it in the mail a few days ago). It gives a valuable historical perspective on how the field has gotten to where it is now. It also considers literature within the broader arts context, with chapters on Mennonite music and visual art, which is something that has not been done previously.

Rohrer, Jane. Acquiring Land: Late Poems. Edited by Julia Spicher Kasdorf. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2020.

Jane Rohrer is one of the oldest Mennonite poetic voices in the U.S., but her work has often been neglected. It is wonderful to have a new collection of her work available. It has an introduction by Julia Spicher Kasdorf that will also hopefully spur more interest in Rohrer’s work.

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