From the Publisher’s Desk

The New Website
Welcome to the new Rhubarb website, filled with features for readers to enjoy, and changing content so you will come back and check what’s new every week, or  subscribe to the blog receiving  each new post as soon as it’s up.

The front page includes posts from writers around North America changing every week, an introduction taking you to our current issues and featured content and news and events.  This site comes complete with the ability to subscribe, buy single issues, join the Mennonite Literary Society, advertise, and make donations on line using PayPal. E-commerce has great potential to simplify those processes, and we hope,  help us increase our revenue as we move to the next stage in Rhubarb’s development.  We are thankful for the generous support of the Winnipeg Foundation to engage Relish to realize our website vision, and once that is running smoothly, refreshing our printed magazine as well.

Please let us know what you think by responding in the enabled comments section or by sending a letter or email to us. We will publish your responses in the Reader Response section on this website and choose one or two highlights to include in the printed version.

Writers contributing to the website bring  youth, energy, and a familiarity of  digital and social media to the Rhubarb site. Writers who have committed to write six posts in the next 12 months are:  Rilla Friesen, editor of Grain magazine  in Saskatoon, prominent  blogger Elan Morgan, ( in Regina, Melanie Dennis Unrau, editor of Geez magazine, in Winnipeg, Nathan Dueck, in  Calgary, whose second poetry collection  he’ll, will appear with Pedlar Press in fall 2014, and Jessica Penner, a Pushcart Prize nominee from Harrisonburg whose debut novel Shaken in the Water  has just been released.

From the Publisher’s Desk is the name I’ve chosen for my occasional posts and interjections on this site because it is an accurate description of my role as President of the Mennonite Literary Society, the official charitable organization that publishes Rhubarb and now this site online.

I’m one of the original founders of the magazine with my brother Garry back in 1998, and I’m back for another round.  While my name may show up on the masthead as Executive editor, I spend most of my time doing what a  publisher does to ensure the future of the Mennonite Literary Society and Rhubarb. So that’s what I’ll write about, and introduce the writers, and the issues rather than writing editorials making room for more creative work. The work always speaks more eloquently than any explanation, and I have my own website if I have anything I want to say without distracting from the writing and images on this site and in the magazine.

It’s the Mennonite in me that’s promoted a 150 word explanation of why I call myself publisher, because it seems to lack the appropriate measure of humility  I’ve been raised to exhibit, sincerely or not. There are many Mennonite Taboos and so far we’ve only covered two with the third “Power and Politics” in the wings. I’d be happy to hear from our readers what other taboos Mennonites might have/ Here I’ve just identified Pride and I’m thinking Anger as another which, as born and bred pacifists, has messed up generations of Mennonites, (as we say)  whether practicing  declined, lapsed, or resistant. I look forward to many conversations, even rhubarbs, so readily facilitated by this medium in the coming years.

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