Happy ‘pub’ days: Ambler, Early, Hawkes, Horan
An undergraduate student and three faculty members in the Department of English announce new books recently published or imminently forthcoming. Works include a poetry chapbook, a how-to guide, an anthology, and a story collection and cover topics from ballet to genre writing, from Early Modern drama to Latin American Jewish women’s fiction.
Ballet is My Boyfriend (Bottlecap Press, 2022)
In order to balance, dancers must stack up their bones so that gravity’s only effect is to keep them connected to the earth. Ballet Is My Boyfriend chronicles the gravitational pulls of various passions: for an art form, for a person, for justice, for a dream. These gravities are not as easy to work with as the physical one. The soul does not stack as simply as the skeleton. These poems attempt to navigate the complex questions that arise as a childhood dream grows into harsh reality. Is there a limit to the amount of passion one person can hold? Is it possible to love an art form as much as a person? What happens when that art form does not love in return?
Through a feminist lens, this chapbook draws on the author’s experiences in the world of professional ballet to investigate the physicality of love and inevitability of loss. In the popular imagination, ballerinas exist on stages, untouchable. Ballet Is My Boyfriend brings this fantasy down to earth, displaying the many forces that touch one dancer’s life. Perfect balance may be unattainable, but there is beauty to be found in following passion despite imperfect conditions. Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that working to change these conditions is part of the art of dream-chasing.
Ambler is an online undergraduate majoring in English and sociology at ASU.
Next Generation Genres: Teaching Writing for Civic and Academic Engagement (W. W. Norton, 2022)
Students need updated writing genres, and a real reason to write. Evolutions in technology and connectivity have brought about significant changes in the ways writing is produced and shared. Yet despite monumental shifts in the practice of writing, how we teach writing has remained largely static. What we need is a new set of genres for writing instruction: genres that will speak to students who are already immersed in rich and multifaceted literacy practices through social media, gaming, and new technologies.
Jessica S. Early’s Next Generation Genres provides an alternative framework for a secondary writing curriculum that places a central emphasis on helping students gain the experience they need to write with confidence in academic and civic life. If your students’ eyes glaze over when they face a standard essay assignment, perhaps it’s time to let them try writing an infographic or a podcast!
Early is a professor of English in the English education program at ASU, where she directs the Central Arizona Writing Project.
Money and Magic in Early Modern Drama (Bloomsbury, 2022)
Money, magic and the theatre were powerful forces in early modern England. Money was acquiring an independent, efficacious agency, as the growth of usury allowed financial signs to reproduce without human intervention. Magic was coming to seem Satanic, as the manipulation of magical signs to performative purposes was criminalized in the great "witch craze." And the commercial, public theatre was emerging – to great controversy – as the perfect medium to display, analyse and evaluate the newly autonomous power of representation in its financial, magical and aesthetic forms.
Money and Magic in Early Modern Drama is especially timely in the current era of financial deregulation and derivatives, which are just as mysterious and occult in their operations as the germinal finance of 16th-century London. Chapters examine the convergence of money and magic in a wide range of early modern drama, from the anonymous Mankind through Christopher Marlowe to Ben Jonson, concentrating on such plays as The Alchemist, The New Inn and The Staple of News. Several focus on Shakespeare, whose analysis of the relations between finance, witchcraft and theatricality is particularly acute in Timon of Athens, The Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter's Tale.
Hawkes is a professor of English in literature at ASU.
The House of Memory: Stories by Jewish Women Writers of Latin America, Second Edition (Solis Press, 2022)
This new edition of The House of Memory: Stories by Jewish Women Writers of Latin America revisits the meaning of heritage and home, exploring the experience of losing the familiar to embrace the unknown. While often painful in its examination of antisemitism, this collection of essays embraces the belief that hope and love can triumph over adversity and racism.
This collection contains over thirty stories from internationally acclaimed writers, such as Clarice Lispector and Margo Glantz, as well as new voices, with some appearing for the first time in English translations.
Although many of the stories are rooted in the Jewish experience and tradition, there is a universal resonance that transcends place, race, gender and religion to speak of matters that are still ever-present to all of us.
Horan is a professor of English in literature at ASU.