Students, faculty, and alumni of the Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities have created some exciting products over the last year that would make fantastic gifts this holiday season! 

The Poetry of Jazz album cover

“The Poetry of Jazz” by Philip Levine and Benjamin Boone

What started as a jazz project between two Fresno State colleagues has earned the respect of Downbeat Magazine readers who rank “The Poetry of Jazz” the number three Jazz Album of the Year in the 2018 Readers Poll. The poll results appeared in the December 2018 issue and praised the performance of Pulitzer-winning poet laureate and former Fresno State professor Philip Levine and Dr. Benjamin Boone, Fresno State Professor of Music. Read more… 

Buy now on Amazon.com

Ballerina Dream Puzzle

Ballerina Dream Puzzle

Fresno State Department of Communication professor Dr. Marnel Niles Goins and her husband Matthew started the Puzzle Huddle company in 2018 after being frustrated with the lack of diverse images shown on commercially-produced puzzles. The Ballerina Dream puzzle was created by to inspire and affirm children using a creative format. This puzzle measures 6in x 8in, includes 15 pieces, and is constructed from sturdy cardboard similar to most puzzles sold in stores. Depending on a child’s fine motor skills, the puzzle can be ideal for toddlers or young children.

Buy now on PuzzleHuddle.com

‘The Tree Tales’ by Kelsi Stieler, Kaylee Gutierrez, and Kristin Bonillas

Grade Level: 1 – 3
College of Arts and Humanities undergrads Kelsi Stieler, Kaylee Gutierrez, and Kristin Bonillas have utilized their talents and collaborated to write, illustrate and publish a children’s book. “The Tree Tales” book, which is available on Amazon, centers around the importance of environmental conservation and teaches kids what they can do to help. Read more…

Buy now on Amazon.com 

‘Imagine’ by Juan Felipe Herrera

imagine book cover

Age Range: 5 – 9 years old
On Sept. 23, former United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera children’s book “Imagine” was listed as a New York Times Editors’ Choice. “The former poet laureate relates his inspiring path from rural Mexico to august Washington in spare lines accompanied by (Lauren) Castillo’s pitch-perfect illustra­tion.” Read more… 

Buy now on Amazon

Jabberwalking book cover

‘Jabberwalking’ by Juan Felipe Herrera

Age Range: 10 and up, Grade level: 5 – 6
“Jabberwalking” was honored as the Best Youth Chapter Nonfiction Book for the International Latino Book Awards. The book, Juan says, is really about teaching young people how to write a poem. Rather than trying to teach using traditional literary methods, he wanted to have fun with it. Read more…  

Buy now on Amazon.com

Hitler’s American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States book cover

‘Hitler’s American Friends’ by Dr. Bradley W. Hart

Dr. Bradley W. Hart’s new book “Hitler’s American Friends, the Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States” has made Time Magazine’s “13 New Books Everyone Will Be Talking About This Fall” list. Americans who remember World War II reminisce about how it brought the country together. The less popular truth behind this warm nostalgia: until the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply, dangerously divided. Hart’s Hitler’s American Friends exposes the homegrown antagonists who sought to protect and promote Hitler, leave Europeans (and especially European Jews) to fend for themselves, and elevate the Nazi regime.  Read more… 

Buy now on Amazon.com

The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel by Joseph Cassara

A new face in the English Department, Assistant Professor Joseph Cassara released his debut novel published by Harper Collins Publishers. Named a most anticipated book of 2018 by Buzzfeed, the book has been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, The Millions, Southern Living, Bustle, Esquire, Entertainment Week, Nylon, Mashable, and more. A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning. 

Buy now on Amazon.com

Night of the Broken Glass book

‘The Night of Broken Glass’ by Feroz Rather

Feroz Rather is a 2013 graduate of the Fresno State Creative Writing MFA program. Over the last three decades, Kashmir has been ravaged by insurgency. While reams have been written on it – in human rights documents, academic theses, non-fiction accounts of the turmoil, and government and military reports – the effects of the violence on its inhabitants have rarely been rendered in fiction. Feroz Rather’s The Night of Broken Glass corrects that anomaly. Through a series of interconnected stories, within which the same characters move in and out, the author weaves a tapestry of the horror Kashmir has come to represent.  READ – On the Books: Feroz Rather

Buy now on Amazon.com

Everything You Came to See: A Novel by Elizabeth Schulte Martin

Elizabeth Schulte Martin received her MFA in Fiction in 2009. About her debut book: People say it like a joke, but Henry Bell really did run away from home to join the circus. A talented new performer with a struggling circus, he’s found a place for himself among the fire-eaters, tightrope walkers, and contortionists. But no matter how far the show travels, Henry’s past is never far behind—the mother he lost, the violent father he fled, the brother he abandoned. READ – On the Books: Elizabeth Schulte Martin

Buy now on Amazon.com

I'm just getting to the disturbing part on work, fear and fatherhood

I’m Just Getting To The Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear & Fatherhood by Steven Church

Acclaimed essayist, Professor of English and Coordinator of the MFA Program in Creative Writing Steven Church reflects on work, fear and fatherhood in a series of encounters that defy easy answers. From the depths of a tourist-trap gold mine to the edges of a meteor crater to the jagged landscapes of marriage and parenting, shift and flux are always front and center. In his sixth book of nonfiction, Church illustrates once again the immeasurable value of an open, essayistic mind. New and beloved essays, by a leader in creative nonfiction and editor of the influential magazine The Normal School.

Buy now on Amazon.com

The Spirit of Disruption book cover. Selections from The Normal School magazine.

‘The Spirit of Disruption’

The Spirit of Disruption: Selections from The Normal School 28 essays from the first decade of Fresno State’s The Normal School magazine — a standard-bearer for creative nonfiction today. From a diverse list of authors, the anthology offers startling reflections on the exceptional and the everyday. An essential guide to the art of nonfiction, with new commentary from each contributor. Edited by Professor of English and Coordinator of the MFA Program in Creative Writing Steven Church, the anthology is ideal for any class focused on the breadth and scope of the contemporary essay. Learn More… 

Buy now on Amazon

Rough Fire

‘Rough Fire’ by Ronald Dzerigian

Fresno State Creative Writing MFA and Fresno State Graduate Writing student consultant Ronald Dzerigian released his first poetry book in August through Finishing Life PressREAD – On the Book: Ronald Dzerigian 

Buy now on Amazon.com

‘Concrete Paradise’ by Brian Dunlap

Brian Dunlap graduated from the Fresno State Creative Writing MFA program in 2013. Through its 14 poems, Concrete Paradise explores the intersection of race and place in Los Angeles. Though the collection is a love letter to L.A., it takes a strong, hard, honest look at the Los Angeles hidden in plain sight. It asks: who are the people and communities that make up the city, how are these people connected to this place, and how has history shaped Los Angeles and its communities into who and what they are today. READ – On the Books: Brian Dunlap

Buy now on Amazon.com


Did we miss something? Email the College of Arts and Humanities Communication Specialist Benjamin Kirk.