Faculty Books

2016

Boruch Eventually

Marianne Boruch, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016).

A starred review in Library Journal says this about Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing: “Only a poet as accomplished as Boruch could make such beautiful verse while leading us through the everyday, of life’s subtle, steady shiftings (‘the bird’s hunger, seeking shape’). If the opening image of a pool filled with cruelly dredged up roses bespeaks quiet assent (‘I stood before them the way an animal/ accepts sun’), the next poem turns immediately to progress (and hence progression) as a modern invention beyond the heaven-and-hell alternatives; finally, the poet concedes, ‘I lose track of my transitions.’ In fact, transition defines us. Here, a static painting gives way to ‘between and among,’ a simple typeface never yields a perfect copy, and even in a medieval score, two exquisite quavers are connected by a slur. Highly recommended.”

Mama's Gun

Marlo David, Mama’s Gun: Black Maternal Figures and the Politics of Transgression (2016).

In Mama’s Gun: Black Maternal Figures and the Politics of Transgression, Marlo D. David identifies five bold, new archetypes of black motherhood for the post-civil rights generation in order to imagine new ways of thinking about pervasive maternal stereotypes of black women. Rather than avoiding “negative” images of black motherhood, such as welfare queens, teen mothers, and “baby mamas,” Mama’s Gun centralizes these dispossessed figures and renames them as the Young Mother, the Blues Mama, the Surrogate, Big Mama, and the Mothership.

Taking inspiration from African American fiction, historical accounts of black life, Afrofuturism, and black popular culture in music and on screen, David turns her attention to Sapphire’s Push, Octavia Butler’s Dawn, and Suzan-Lori Parks’s Getting Mother’s Body as well as the performance art of Erykah Badu and the films of Tyler Perry. She draws out the implications of black maternal figures in these texts who balk at tradition and are far from “ideal.”

Bodies of Modernism

Maren Linett, Bodies of Modernism: Physical Disability in Transatlantic Modernist Literature (2016).

Bodies of Modernism brings a new and exciting analytical lens to modernist literature, that of critical disability studies. The book offers new readings of canonical and noncanonical writers from both sides of the Atlantic including Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, H. G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, Olive Moore, Carson McCullers, Tennessee Williams, J. M. Synge, Florence Barclay, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. Through readings of this wide range of texts and with chapters focusing on mobility impairments, deafness, blindness, and deformity, the study reveals both modernism’s skepticism about and dependence on fantasies of whole, “normal” bodies.

“A nuanced view of disability as it intertwines with modernist aesthetics. Linett concentrates on disabled protagonists but expands her study from mere character analysis to a thoroughgoing critique and understanding of modernism itself. An important contribution to the field of literary and disability studies.” — Lennard Davis, University of Illinois at Chicago

Not Born Digital

Daniel Morris, Not Born Digital: Poetics, Print Literacy, New Media (2016).

Not Born Digital addresses from multiple perspectives ? ethical, historical, psychological, conceptual, aesthetic ? the vexing problems and sublime potential of disseminating lyrics, the ancient form of transmission and preservation of the human voice, in an environment in which e-poetry and digitalized poetics pose a crisis (understood as opportunity and threat) to traditional page poetry.

Tornadoesque

Donald Platt, Tornadoesque (2016).

In his trademark alternating long and short lines, and in occasional lyric prose, Platt gives us Tornadoesque, a weather report from middle age. The poet discovers his bisexuality in a heterosexual marriage of longstanding passion and responds to war in the Middle East, the deaths and illnesses of friends, and a daughter’s bipolar condition. His book is an eyewitness account of where the tornado has touched down: what’s lost, what’s saved.

“Tornadoesque whirls with powerful and challenging images, always refusing to turn away from the unsettling while also refusing to treat those images as snapshots that can be experienced in isolation, outside of the intricacies of human desire and history. Donald Platt confronts with great honesty and
frankness the complexities of being a son, husband, and father within a world whose layers have been shaped by the visions of religion, politics, art, and dream. The scope of this collection is dazzling; each poem is both tapestry and journey.” — Mary Szybist

Silva

Tony Silva and Luciana de Oliveira (editors), Second Language Writing in Elementary Classrooms: Instructional Issues, Content-area Writing and Teacher Education (2016).

Second Language Writing in Elementary Classrooms focuses on L2 writing in elementary classrooms. It features chapters that highlight research in elementary classrooms focused on the writing development of multilingual children, and research in teacher education to prepare elementary teachers to teach L2 writing and address L2 writers’ needs. Part I presents instructional issues for L2 writers at the elementary level. Part II focuses on content-area writing. Part III focuses on L2 writing teacher education at the elementary level.

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