2020 College of Arts and Humanities Gift Guide

Christmas Tree with Bulldog football helmet ornament

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!

borderland apocrypha by Anthony Cody - book cover

“Borderland Apocrypha,” by Anthony Cody (alumni)

Buy online from Omnidawn Publishing

A finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, Cody’s debut poetry collection is an avant-garde examination of how North American borderlands have remained occupied spaces, unearthing history in order to work toward survival, reckoning, and the building of a future that both acknowledges and moves on from tragedies of the past.

RELATED: Fresno State alumnus Anthony Cody finishes as finalist for National Book Award for Poetry, shares influential books

Benjamin Boone The Poets Are Gathering Album cover

“The Poets are Gathering” by Benjamin Boone (Faculty)

Buy online from Amazon

Top-10 Bestseller on Amazon for 6 weeks and counting, this album features Fresno State’s own U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and ten other leading poets, melding their poetry with Boone and a cast of twenty musicians, including Fresno State’s own Craig VonBerg and CAH Advisory Board member Marisol Baca. DownBeat Magazine’s John Murph writes, “The Poets Are Gathering is Benjamin Boone’s most ambitious recording yet, one where he recruits a superb arsenal of poets who unravel their works with razor-sharp conviction and clarity… wondrous.…like engrossing short films, all of which demand concentrated engagement.” The magazine’s Jim Macnie states, “One of the more compelling poetry/jazz outings I’ve ever come across… several sections are electric.”

Related: Poets, musicians gather with Benjamin Boone and Juan Felipe Herrera in new album

Joy - Benjamin Boone with the Ghana Jazz Collective album cover

“Joy” by Benjamin Boone with the Ghana Jazz Collective (Faculty)

Buy online from Amazon

Top 5 Bestseller on Amazon for 10 weeks and on the jazz radio charts for 2 months, Boone recorded this album while serving as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana. Chris Spector of the Midwest Record writes: “When you think of a Fulbright Scholar heading off to deepest darkest Africa, do you picture a white boy that understands funk? Pairing here with his pals, Ghana Jazz Collective, the two cultures collide in a jolly mash up that proves once again that music is the universal language and how easy it is to resolve any conflict if you really want to. Upbeat, badass stuff that’s a gasser throughout, it’s too bad more white boys can’t have this much fun—even without having to go to Ghana. This is creative music that will stand the test of time.”

RELATED: Making Joy

"Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-Metal," by J.J. Anselmi - Book Cover

“Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-Metal,” by J.J. Anselmi (alumni)

Buy online from Bookshop

In his second nonfiction book, Anselmi digs into the heaviest music the world has ever heard, tracing doom, sludge, and post-metal as their own distinct traditions. He covers the bands and musicians that have impacted those styles the most, while exploring the cultural doom that has profoundly shaped such music.

"Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall," by Daniel Chacón - Book cover

“Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall,” by Daniel Chacón (alumni)

Buy online from Bookshop

Set in El Paso and other Latinx dominated urban spaces, Chacón’s latest story collection takes an immersive look into the myriad lives of these culturally diverse areas, exploring the concept of a wall that reaches beyond our immediate thoughts of a physical structure into the intangible walls that divide communities and individuals.

"The Cowgirl and the Racehorse: A Recovery," by Ashley Wells - Book Cover

“The Cowgirl and the Racehorse: A Recovery,” by Ashley Wells (alumni)

Buy online from Bookshop

A moving, intimate and richly descriptive debut memoir, Wells’ debut nonfiction book provides an intimate, scholarly and personal examination of cowgirl narratives, horseback riding, and the characters and personalities of the animals who have accompanied her from childhood to the present.

"What I Can Do," by Erik J. Wilbur - Book Cover

“What I Can Do,” by Erik J. Wilbur (alumni)

Buy online from Bookshop

Winner of the Chestnut Review Press chapbook contest, Wilbur’s debut poetry book is an elegiac meditation on a young man’s struggle to maintain his relationship with a father who’s battling addiction, and the subsequent processing of grief after losing his father to that addiction.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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