Tag Archives: literature

Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Mennonite Edition

Cliff, Michelle. Free Enterprise. New York: Dutton, 1993.

I heard a presentation about this novel at Northeast MLA and it sounded interesting because of its treatment of pacifism and violence, so I decided to buy it since I have enjoyed my previous experiences with Cliff’s writing.

Denise, Cheryl. I Saw God Dancing. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2005.

This past weekend I was at the Poetics of Place writing retreat at Laurelville Mennonite Camp in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. It was an amazing experience filled with thought-provoking conversations and inspired writing. There was a book sale, and I bought a number of volumes, all poetry: Denise’s two books and those by Gascho, Kaufmann, Stenson, and Wiebe. Aside from Wiebe, who died in 2008, all of the authors were there and I was thus able to have them sign my books. Now I have plenty of poetry to read this summer!

—. What’s in the Blood. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2012.

Gascho, Joseph. Cornfields, Cottonwoods, Seagulls, and Sermons: Growing Up in Nebraska. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2017.

Kaufmann, Britt. Belonging. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2011.

Kreider, Roberta Showalter, ed. The Cost of Truth: Faith Stories of Mennonite and Brethren Leaders and Those Who Might Have Been. Kulpsville, PA: Strategic Press, 2004.

I recently came across a citation of this book in an article by Alicia Dueck-Read, and bought it immediately because of my work on queer Mennonites.

Stenson, Esther Yoder. Miracle Temple. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2009.

Wiebe, Dallas. On the Cross: Devotional Poems. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2005.

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. Orlando: Harcourt, 1981.

I was recently lamenting to a friend that I no longer had a copy of this book because my ex-wife got it after our divorce. Said friend surprised me with this copy yesterday.

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Books Acquired Recently

Addiss, Stephen. The Art of Haiku: Its History Through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters. Boston: Shambhala, 2012.

Yesterday I went to a poetry reading in Ithaca, New York, and stopped at two bookstores during the trip. I bought this book at The Bookery, a delightful, labyrinthine used bookshop.

Barnhart, Danielle, and Iris Mahan, ed. Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. New York: OR Books, 2018.

I also stopped at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, where I bought this new anthology and Brownstein’s memoir, which I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while since I love Portlandia. I kept seeing more and more books that I wanted to buy. It’s a dangerous place!

Brownstein, Carrie. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir. 2015. New York: Riverhead Books, 2016.

Carlson, Paula J., and Peter S. Hawkins, ed. Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1994.

My mother just retired and is working on downsizing. She just brought me some books from her library that I either had sentimental attachments to from childhood (Lewis’s, Moore’s, and Waybill’s) or thought sounded interesting. This one falls into the latter category. It’s a collection of fiction by a variety of authors dealing with finding God in the world.

Delany, Samuel R. The Atheist in the Attic Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2018.

I just recently discovered PM Press, a publisher of radical literature. Happily, they just published my favorite author’s latest book! It includes a novella and some essays. I bought it immediately from their website.

Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed. 1961. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994.

Moore, Joy Hofacker. Ted Studebaker: A Man Who Loved Peace. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1987.

Why do you get a Herald Press children’s book written about you? Because you died while doing mission work, of course!

Waybill, Marjorie Ann. Chinese Eyes. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1974.

The inscription in this book says that my parents gave it to me for Christmas when I was three.

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Books Acquired Recently

Burkholder, J. Lawrence. Recollections of a Sectarian Realist: A Mennonite Life in the Twentieth Century. Ed. Myrna Burkholder. Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2016.

I did a paper on Burkholder, who was a rebel Mennonite theologian at Harvard (he got his Ph.D. at Princeton) before becoming president of the Mennonite-owned Goshen College, when I was an undergraduate. Burkholder was kind enough to meet me for lunch to discuss it. At the time, I thought his ideas were much too liberal, but now I appreciate his thought a lot more. I decided to buy this memoir after reading a fascinating review of it in Mennonite Quarterly Review. I purchased it online from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary bookstore. The rest of the books were bought from amazon.com.

Cantú, Francisco. The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border. New York: Riverhead Books, 2018.

I bought this and Luiselli’s book as background reading for a writing retreat on the Arizona/Sonora border that I’ll be on next month.

Delany, Samuel R. Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love. 1979. Whitmore Lake, MI: Bamberger Books, 1997.

I have the original 1979 Bantam edition of this book, but decided to buy the newer (though still over twenty years old! I can’t believe 1997 was that long ago already.) edition because I’ll be writing an essay on it later this summer and using the newer edition (which is still available new on amazon even though I think the publisher is out of business) will be more accessible for readers.

Luiselli, Valeria. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2017.

Pérez, Hiram. A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire. New York: New York University Press, 2015.

I would like to do more work on queer Latinx literature and bought this book because it relates to that intersection.

Rivera, Gabby. America: The Life and Times of America Chavez. Vol. 1. New York: Marvel, 2017.

I loved Rivera’s novel Juliet Takes a Breath and have been meaning to read this comic by her for a while. The book contains the first six issues of the eponymous comic. I must say that this volume is of lesser production quality than other Marvel omnibuses I have bought. The cover is quite flimsy.

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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 amazon.com’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 amazon.com’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 amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

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