College of Arts and Humanities 2021 Gift Guide

Christmas ornament with Fresno State Bulldog logo hangs from a Christmas tree.

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

How to Wrestle a Girl stories by Venita Blackburn book cover.

“How To Wrestle a Girl” by Venita Blackburn (Faculty)

Blackburn’s second story collection, set in Southern California, follows a teenage girl in the aftermath of her beloved father’s death and capture her sister’s and mother’s encounters with men of all ages, as well as the girl’s burgeoning queerness and her emerging body.

Buy online from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Naming the lost: The Fresno Poets, edited by Christopher Buckley

“Naming the Lost: The Fresno Poets” edited by Christopher Buckley

Intrepid poet/archivist Buckley assembles and preserves lost interviews, essays, and documents from dozens of Philip Levine-era Fresno poets, including the many Fresno State alumni who were initially canonized and anthologized as the first generation of Fresno writers.

Buy online from Texas A&M University Press

American Quasar by David Campos and Maceo Montoya book cover

“American Quasar” by David Campos (Alumni) and Maceo Montoya

In his second book of poetry, Campos forms a visual-textual collaboration with artist Montoya to explore the precipice of violence and excavate the self. Images and words build a poetic space both physical and celestial, to meditate on how country, family, and trauma affect the ability to love.

Buy online from Red Hen Press

Garden Party Zippy Clutch Wristlet by Maria Dolores Etsy story screenshot show various brightly colored bags.

“Garden Party Zippy Clutch/Wristlet” by María Dolores Morillo (Faculty)

You can carry all your necessities close at hand in this beautiful and classy zippered wristlet bag, featuring high-quality antique brass hardware and gorgeous green cork. The wristlet strap is detachable if you want to use it as a clutch. The exterior fabric is 100% cotton canvas, the lining is 100% cotton fabric, and the green exterior is a smooth, high-quality, cork fabric.

This is a one-of-a-kind item, made by Morillo in a smoke-free home.

Buy online from Etsy

Blue book cover with a photo of a mountain

“Compassion” by Andrew Fiala.  Volume 2 of Fiala’s Three Mountains trilogy (Faculty)

This is the second volume of Andrew Fiala’s Three Mountains trilogy. It weaves spiritual teachings together with folktales and natural history in a way that surprises and inspires. Fiala shows that compassion involves laughter, chaos, tears, and joy. Compassion is about overflowing and becoming broader.

Buy online from Amazon

Various bottles adornmented by hand

Adornamented series by Teresa Flores (Alumni)

Art kills COVID! Art saves your kitchen! Flores creates hand-painted wonders when she “glows-up” everyday household items such as hand sanitizer, Windex, and hot sauce, turning them into one-of-a-kind works of pop art. Featured recently in The New Yorker holiday gift guide.

Buy online from Teresa Flores Studio

Brightly colored book "Love is an Ex-Country"

“Love Is an Ex-Country” by Randa Jarrar (Faculty)

In her third book (and debut memoir), Jarrar tells stories of domestic violence, single motherhood, and sexuality through the lens of her body, all framed within an epic cross-country road trip from California to Connecticut to visit her parents.

Buy online from Catapult

Machiavelli in Contemporary Media - a brown book cover

“Machiavelli in contemporary media” by Andrea Polegato (Faculty)

There is an undeniable and persisting fascination with Niccolò Machiavelli and his infamous political theories in contemporary pop culture. By offering the reader an idea of how Machiavelli is present and represented in contemporary media (in particular, in Assassin’s Creed, House of Cards, Homeland, pop art, American and Italian politics, Italian cinema, and Trump’s rise to power), Machiavelli in Contemporary Media gives new life to Machiavellian thought and shows how his theories―but also the several different interpretations of them (Machiavellianism)―are still influential today.

Buy online from Amazon

A close up of budding figs with a barefoot boy in the orchard behind it.

“Stuccoville: Life Without a Net” by Charles L. Radke (Staff, Alumni)

In his debut memoir, Radke tells the remarkable story of his mother, who for decades defied the medical establishment’s predictions for her survival. Mother and son carve out a life together in a tract-home neighborhood within a vast fig orchard and bordered by the Santa Fe railroad.

Buy online from WiDō Publishing

Green with black and pink letter lines book cover.

“Yellow Rain” by Mai Der Vang (Faculty)

In a staggering work of documentary poetry, collage, and imagination — and synthesizing years of deep archival research and previously classified government documents — Vang’s second book reopens a wrongdoing that deserves a new reckoning. As the U.S. abandoned them at the end of the war in Vietnam, many Hmong refugees recounted stories of a mysterious substance that fell from planes during their escape from Laos in the mid-1970s: “yellow rain,” which caused severe illnesses and thousands of deaths.

Buy online from Graywolf Press

Book cover with abstract grey and brown art.

“Game” by M.L. Williams (Alumni)

In his latest poetry collection, Williams approaches the catastrophe of language in call-and-response interplay with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations,” set in diverse spaces such as rooms, dining tables, picture frames, swamps, and a spider’s web.

Buy online from What Books Press

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