Issue Number Archives: 35

The Wandering Heart of Cornelius Klassen: Mennonite Cowboy

(Excerpts from a long poem inspired by the life of Cornelius Klassen, the author’s father-in-law, who was excommunicated from his Old Colony congregation in the Manitoba Colony, near Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, in the early 1960s, for being a truck driver who bought and sold heavy equipment that had rubber tires). Darp Mechanics: Seminole, Texas, 2008

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Happiness Threads: The Unborn Poems by Melanie Dennis Unrau

Melanie Dennis Unrau, Happiness Threads: The Unborn Poems (Winnipeg: J. Gordon Shillingford, 2013). Paperback, 93 pages, $15.95. “The materiality of the writer’s life cannot be exaggerated. If you like metaphysics, throw pots.” –Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

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Nineteen ninety-two was not a good year to be gay in Small Town Ontario. It was slightly better to be gay in Medium City Ontario, so that’s where my mother moved. I was already ashamed of being a “city girl.” In school we had to tell about our pets: I had one cat, Cuddles. I […]

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Boundless Energy and Classical Music: An Interview with Eric Friesen

Rhubarb: You have dedicated most of your professional life to presenting classical music to audiences on the radio, whether at CBC, Minnesota Public Radio, or now at Golden West in Winnipeg. What is the connection between that impressive career and your Mennonite background, growing up in Altona, Manitoba? Eric Friesen: Growing up in Altona imbued […]

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From the Publisher’s Desk

The city was the only place I ever wanted to live, shaking the dust of southern Manitoba with its chicken shit, Gothic Mennonite fundamentalist bigotry, anger, violence, and rural macho bullying from my suede desert boots. The city was Winnipeg and the best news I ever had from my parents was that we would be […]

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Breaking Mennonite; Living in the City

We have here an issue of city experience explored in prose, poetry, and visual images. David Bergen treats us to a sneak preview from his new novel Leaving Tomorrow, set in Paris, and Patrick Friesen remembers his trip from Steinbach to Winnipeg, which is, to paraphrase poetry editor Di Brandt, “40 miles and 400 years away.”

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