Lee, Catherine J.S., ed. A Splash of Water: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2015. New York: Haiku Society of America, 2015.
Each year the Haiku Society of America publishes an anthology of work by its members on a specific theme, and each member receives a copy. This year’s theme was water. I’ve read about half of it thus far, and despite the repetition of subject matter a number of the poems are compelling.
Zacharias, Robert, ed. After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America. University Park: Penn State UP, 2015.
I was very excited to receive this book in the mail today because it is my contributor’s copy! My essay, “Queering Mennonite Literature,” appears on pages 143-58. The book is a collection of revised essays from a 2013 symposium at Penn State on identity issues in Mennonite literature. My essay is nestled between chapters by Di Brandt and Jeff Gundy, two poets and critics whose work has played a major role in my life, and it is a dream come true to be published alongside them. Another of my favorite poets, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, also has an essay in the volume.
Deer Cloud, Susan. The Last Ceremony. Kanona: FootHills, 2007.
I bought this book today after Deer Cloud’s poetry reading at Utica College. It is always fascinating to hear poets read their work, and it is especially delightful when they read it well and when it is actually worth reading, which was the case in this instance. Deer Cloud had several of her books available for purchase at the reading, and I bought The Last Ceremony because it includes my favorite poem from the reading, “Marlon Brando Dies at 80,” a love poem to Brando that is motivated by both his activism on behalf of Native Americans and his sexiness. This poem and other samples of Deer Cloud’s work are available here. The book itself is a beautiful object, hand-bound with black thread and soothing lavender end sheets. It is worth its $16.00 price as an aesthetic artifact alone even before one considers the fine poetry contained therein.
Zacharias, Robert. Rewriting the Break Event: Mennonites and Migration in Canadian Literature. Winnipeg: U of Manitoba P, 2013.
I bought this book primarily because Zacharias is a friend of mine, though of course Mennonite literature is one of my scholarly interests, too. It’s nice to have the two converge! I am especially excited to read the chapter on Rudy Wiebe’s The Blue Mountains of China, a favorite novel of mine since I first read it in 2001.
Bought on amazon.com.