Tag Archives: Janet Kauffman

Books Acquired Recently: Poetry Edition

Kauffman, Janet. Eco-dementia. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2017.

Kauffman was one of the first major Mennonite writers in the U.S., and I have deeply appreciated her work since first encountering it in college. I was unaware of this collection of hers until a colleague mentioned it recently.

Swede, George, and Terry Ann Carter, eds. Erotic Haiku: Of Skin on Skin. Windsor, ON: Black Moss Press, 2017.

I recently read Carter’s Haiku in Canada, which is quite good. She mentions this co-edited anthology in it, and I decided to order it because I write erotic haiku myself.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Cvetkovich, Ann. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

I have become very interested in the concept of the archive recently. As part of my reading about it I encountered a citation to Cvetkovich’s book and it sounded interesting, so I decided to buy it. It, along with Kauffman’s and Dangarembga’s books, were purchased from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Dangarembga, Tsitsi. The Book of Not. Banbury, UK: Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2006.

I recently taught the prequel to this novel, Nervous Conditions, and realized that I had forgotten how good it was. It is good enough that it sequel deserves a read, as well.

Kauffman, Janet. oh corporeal. N.p.: Coldwater Press, 2010.

I have read much more of Kauffman’s fiction than of her poetry. In my slow move toward remedying this state of affairs I decided to buy this chapbook.

Suzanne, Miriam [as Eric M. Suzanne]. Riding Sidesaddle*. Denver: SpringGun Press, 2015.

I just recently found out about Miriam Suzanne, a trans Mennonite author, and bought her novel right away in part because queer Mennonite literature is my primary scholarly interest and in part because it is an unbound book that comes in a box! The reader can read the story in whatever order they choose. In this way it is similar to B.S. Johnson’s novel The Unfortunates (which is one of my favorite books), but even more so because every single page is unbound rather than being bound into chapters. I can’t wait to read it! You can buy it here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Book Acquired Recently: Stephen Beachy’s Some Phantom/No Time Flat

Beachy, Stephen. Some Phantom/No Time Flat. 2006. Portland: Verse Chorus, 2013.

I received this diptych of novellas in the mail from amazon.com yesterday, and read Some Phantom immediately and No Time Flat this evening. Both are excellent; I read the first one (which I greatly enjoyed in part because it takes place in Salt Lake City) and thought “Wow, the second one can’t be as good,” but I was wrong.

Some Phantom is about a woman running from an abusive relationship who ends up in Salt Lake City, gets a job as a teacher’s aide, and becomes obsessed with one of her students. The city’s geography is an essential element of the story–sparse, dry, malevolent. It reminds me a lot of the austerity of Janet Kauffman’s writing, even though she virtually never writes about urban environments. Beachy does a fantastic job depicting the exciting seediness of the stretch of State Street between approximately 700 and 1900 South.

No Time Flat involves some of the searing themes from Beachy’s best novel, Boneyard: illicit gay sex, much of it involving bondage, and the thin line between pain as pleasure and pain as violence. It reads as serious fiction, but it arouses like the best pornography, too. The experience of reading it is still too fresh for me to be articulate about it other than to say that I highly recommend it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume A: Beginnings to 1820. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2012.

—. The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume B: 1820-1865. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2012.

I requested these two exam copies from the publisher because I will be teaching an early American literature class in the fall. I generally dislike teaching with anthologies, but they are helpful reference tools when planning a course because they provide a ready-made list of the authors to consider including in a syllabus.

Cervantes, Lorna Dee. Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems. San Antonio: Wings, 2011.

I received a review copy of this collection from the Rocky Mountain Review (the journal of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association), for whom I will be writing a review. I’ve only read a few of Cervantes’s poems before, so I look forward to becoming more familiar with her work. The concept of the book sounds interesting, and it is printed in dark brown ink instead of black ink, so it is a fascinating object that I will be happy to have in my library even if I end up not liking it.

Kasdorf, Julia Spicher. The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life: Essays and Poems. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 2009.

I acquired this and Kauffman’s book from amazon.com as part of my research for an essay on Mennonite literature that I am currently working on. I have the 2001 Johns Hopkins first edition of The Body and the Book, which I read and loved as soon as it was published, but the 2009 edition has a new preface that I wanted to read, and I was able to find a used copy for only a few dollars, so I bought it instead of finding it in a library. As regular readers of this blog know, I am always happy for any excuse to buy a book!

Kauffman, Janet. Places in the World a Woman Could Walk. 1983. Saint Paul: Graywolf, 1996.

I enjoy Kauffman’s work, and read this book back in college, but do not remember it well. This is the only book of her fiction that I don’t already own (she has also published two collections of poetry), and I found a used, signed (!) copy at a very affordable price.

Rowell, Charles Henry, ed. Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. New York: Norton, 2013.

This is another exam copy from the publisher. I will be assigning it for my May Term African American Literature After 1960 class. I do find poetry anthologies useful, and am rather excited about this one because it is reasonably priced and has a strong selection of poets (though it omits Essex Hemphill, which is unexcusable).

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Gass, William. Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife. 1968. Normal: Dalkey, 1989.

I recently read about this novel, which includes a number of photographs, figures, and elements of typographical play. I am quite fond of these postmodern elements because I appreciate it when a book is fascinating as a physical object (as an artwork, even) as well as intellectually.

hooks, bell. Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2013.

I love bell hooks and purchased this book for a discount at the Modern Language Association conference last month. I must say that I am not impressed with Routledge’s shipping department, as the book took over a month to arrive from the time I ordered it.

Kauffman, Janet. Obscene Gestures for Women. 1989. New York: Vintage, 1990.

I read this short story collection in college about a dozen years ago, but don’t really remember it. However, several of Kauffman’s other books (Collaborators, The Body in Four Parts, and Characters on the Loose) are texts that I have enjoyed repeatedly, and since I am writing about her in an essay on Mennonite literature which I am working on, I thought I would give this book another go.

The Gass and Kauffman books were bought on amazon.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature