This is a review in ‘The Canadian Mennonite’ written by Beth Downey Sawatzky A fresh anthology by the Mennonite Literary Society, 29 Mennonite Poets, is a welcome new frame for stand-out Canadian poetry. For years, Canadian poets have battled the challenges of a national literary climate that almost universally favours prose. In the world […]
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“Culture-shaping poets tackle a formidable battery of themes and styles” review in the ‘Canadian Mennonite’ April 5, 2017
Paul Bergman, Anthropology (independent, 2015). CD, 10 songs, $15.00. (Digital download, 10 songs, $10.00.) It’s rare to find an epigraph from Wallace Stegner on an album sleeve, rarer still to find an artist so keen on inhabiting its sentiment. But that is Paul Bergman, a folk and roots musician from southern Manitoba who’s been quietly […]
Robert Zacharias, ed., After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2015). Paperback, 244 pages, $31.95. After Identity is a collection of essays edited by Robert Zacharias, assistant professor of English at York University, Toronto. This collection was generated by a symposium held at Pennsylvania State University in May 2013.
Carla Funk, Gloryland (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2016). Paperback, 128 pages, $17.00. The cricket plays on. The body, second fiddle to the song. –Carla Funk
Andrew Braun is a member of Rococode, whose latest record Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon was released in February 2016. Paul Bergman’s latest record Anthropology was released in late 2015. Andrew and Paul both grew up in Altona, Manitoba, and were in a band together in high school. Andrew is presently based in […]
Mary Ann Loewen, ed., Sons and Mothers: Stories from Mennonite Men (Regina: University of Regina Press, 2015). Paperback, 180 pages, $19.95. Mary Ann Loewen’s Sons and Mothers: Stories from Mennonite Men was conceived as a companion to Mothering Mennonite, a 2013 collection of essays by women about Mennonite mothers, edited by Kerry Fast and […]
Roger Groening, Knuckleball (Winnipeg: Self Published, 2015). Paperback, 229 pages, $21.00. Roger Groening’s collection of short stories is wickedly funny. Funny enough to make one wonder if Roger is related to Matt Groening, the creator of Homer, Bart, and Marge. This isn’t so far-fetched given that the late Delbert Plett, in his magazine Preservings, […]
Royden Loewen, Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016). Paperback, 256 pages, $27.95. Old Colony Mennonites have been called many things since attracting international attention for the rape and abuse of over 100 women in Bolivia in 2011. Genius is not one of them. And yet, […]
Diane Driedger, Red with Living: Poems and Art (Toronto: Inanna Publications and Education Inc., 2016). Paperback, 96 pages, $18.95. Red with Living, Diane Driedger’s second poetry collection after Mennonite Madonna in 2000 is a personal journal comprised of poems and paintings set in the Caribbean and Canada, places the poet has lived, with detours […]
With stories by David Bergen, Sandra Birdsell, Lois Braun, Dora Dueck, David Elias, Carrie Snyder, Miriam Toews, Armin Wiebe, Rudy Wiebe, and an introduction by Maurice Meirau, this is an important and elegant collection for lovers of literature – especially literature coming from the Mennonite culture.
Armin Wiebe, Armin’s Shorts, (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2015). Paperback, 252 pages, $19.00. At times, Armin’s Shorts is a musical comedy that could make even your “grandmother sit up in her black trough coffin and laugh.” Yet the stories also offer a continuum between “reckless passion” and “matter of fact, practical urgency,” wherein Wiebe reaches deep […]
Maurice Mierau, Autobiographical Fictions, (Windsor: Palimpsest Press, 2015). Paperback, 80 pages, $18.95. Maurice Mierau’s poetry collection, Autobiographical Fictions, brings together an eclectic sampling of historical and literary figures, artists, and celebrities. Self-described as both poet and “paparazzo,” Mierau draws not only from biographies, but also snippets of letters, interviews, and news articles. His subjects range […]