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    New York Times reviews Vern Thiessen's play "The Embalmers"

    March 16, 2010

    The Saturday, March 13 issue of the New York Times gave a positive review to Vern Thiessen's new play, "Lenin's Embalmers," which will continue through March 28 at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York City. Neil Genzlinger, the reviewer, calls the play "a spunky dark comedy . . . drawn from real history" and says the playwright and director "serve it all up with wit and verve."

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    Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets

    March 1, 2010

    New from SUNY Press, Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets, edited by Todd David and Erin Murphy is full of wonderful poems and insights about the writing process.

    In addition, among the 40 poets are 8 who qualify as Mennonite--or Mennonite-connected--authors:

    Todd Davis, J. L. Conrad, Jeff Gundy, Ann Hostetler, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Mary Linton. Keith Ratzlaff, and G. C. Waldrep.

    For a full table of contents with contributors and titles, as well as a description of the book, see:

    Endorsements for Making Poems:

    “A valuable addition to one’s personal library ...

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    "Lenin's Embalmers"--Vern Tiessen's play opens in New York

    March 1, 2010

    Three Russians are in the gulag. The first one says, “What are you in for?”

    The second one replies, “I called Zbarsky a revolutionary.”

    “That’s funny,” the first one says. “I called Zbarsky a counterrevolutionary.”

    “That’s funny,” the third one says. “I’m Zbarsky.”

    Vern Thiessen’s new play, “Lenin’s Embalmers,” which starts on Wednesday at the Ensemble Studio Theater in Clinton, opens with the ghost of Lenin telling this joke as a parable of the mordant doom pervading the Communist state he created.

    Read the rest of the article in The New York Times ...

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    The Writing of Place - Black Forest Writing Seminars, July 26-Aug. 6, 2010

    February 23, 2010

    This summer come to the Black Forest region of Germany--home of Michael Sattler and other Anabaptists--and immerse yourself in two weeks of creative writing, accredited by the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany's leading university for literary and language study.

    Among the many enticing offerings for summer 2010, is CMW Website editor Ann Hostetler's course in creative non-fiction entitled "The Writing of Place and the Place of Writing." This course, which has no prerequisites, will be taught in English and is equivalent to a 3-hour semester course for American transfer credit.

    For more information, visit the website at http ...

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    Call for Submissions--Mothers on Peace & More

    January 26, 2010

    Call for Submissions

    The Cheese Gun and Other Misfires:

    Mothers on Peace, Justice, Simplicity and More

    We are seeking submissions for a new anthology tentatively titled The Cheese Gun and Other Misfires: Mothers on Peace, Justice, Simplicity and More. This collection will feature stories by women who long to teach their children traditional peace church values, but who often fall short because of their own imperfections; or because such values can sometimes be hard to impart; or because sometimes the world’s values can be so much more fun.

    Submissions for this collection should be narrative-driven rather than how-to: we are ...

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    Call for Submissions--Martyrs Mirror Anthology--deadline extended

    January 22, 2010

    Call for submissions: Poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for an anthology of work inspired by the Martyrs Mirror. Wanted: surprising pieces that elicit laughter, weeping, tooth-gnashing, and/or wonder.

    Contact: Kirsten Beachy at or 7327 Briery Branch Road, Dayton, Virginia, 22821. Deadline: March 15, 2010.

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    Special American Issue of Rhubarb Magazine just published

    January 22, 2010

    The current issue of Rhubarb Magazine is a special issue on American writing, edited by Ann Hostetler, with the theme of "Travel and Homecoming."

    To order this issue or to subscribe, visit

    The special issue contains an exciting array of new writing from award-winning writers and new voices. It features an interview with Keith Miller, author of The Book on Fire--excerpted in the current CMW Journal--and The Book of Flying. It also contains two translations by Miller from the Muallaqat, a pre-Islamic Arabic traditional poem. Other writers and artists published in this issue ...

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    Gray Matter Graffitti--Poems by Sam W. Reimer

    January 19, 2010

    Sam W. Reimer's book of poems, Gray Matter Graffitti [sic], has been published by Circle Design, Inc. at a price of $16. ( The book consists of about 200 short poems from the author's lifetime of writing. "Some are autobiographical, some fictitious, some more serious, some angrier, some more sorrowful than others--ranging from the profane to the sacred, and en masse erring on the side of oddness." Reimer identifies himself as a "draft-dodger, Jesus-freak, 'conditional pacifist,' prolific writer, devoted father, 'tactical anarchist & strategic monarchist,' unwavering romantic, bohemian bard, 'ecstatic depressive,' gregarious hermit." Reimer was ...

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    Todd Davis - New Poetry Collection Just Published

    December 12, 2009

    The Least of These, Todd Davis's third collection of poems, has just been published by Michigan State University Press.

    From the Publisher's Website:

    Over the course of this masterful and heartfelt book it becomes clear that Davis not only loves the life he's been given but also believes that the ravishing desire of this world can offer hope, and even joy, however it might be negotiated. Drawing upon a range of stories from the Christian, Transcendental, and Asian traditions, as well as from his own deep understanding of the natural world, Davis explores the connection between the ...

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    Mennonite Literature makes a unique Christmas Gift!

    December 12, 2009

    Keep the conversation going! Consider giving the unique gift of Mennonite literature for Christmas! Whether it's a subscription to Rhubarb, the magazine of literary arts published by the Mennonite Literary Society of Canada, a novel, a memoir, or a volume of poetry, stories, or essays by a Mennonite writer, your gift is certain to be unique and valued.

    Start a book sharing circle by giving several friends a copy of a book you'd like to discuss, or recommend a work of Mennonite Literature to your book club!

    While most works mentioned on this site are available from Amazon ...