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    Shirley Showalter Wins Memoir Prize

    May 2, 2009

    Shirley Showalter won First Prize from the Kalamazoo Journal for the best memoir or piece of creative non-fiction submitted in 2009. Read her essay at

    Showalter will have another essay in the upcoming issue of CMW Journal, to be released on or about May 15, 2009.

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    Yaguchi poetry featured in "For a Beautiful Planet"

    April 24, 2009

    Thirteen poems by Yorifumi Yaguchi have appeared in the anthology "For a Beautiful Planet: Voices from Contemporary Sixteen Poets of Japan, 2009" published in 2009 in Osaka by Chikurinkan. Two of the poems--"The Earthquake" and "When the Earthquake"--are based on incidents during his recent visit to China, as reported in Wilbur Birky's journal in Issue 2 of the CMW journal.

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    Jean Janzen's latest collection of poetry published

    April 24, 2009

    Jean Janzen’s latest poetry book, Paper House , has recently been published by Good Books.

    "Her refusal to turn aside from any difficulty, any loss, here presses her writing into firmer edges than ever before . . . . She brings longing to every page, and then calls us in, gently, yet irresistibly." From the publisher

    Jean Janzen is the author of seven collections of poetry, and a book of essays on the creative process, Elements of Faithful Writing. She lives in Fresno, California. Janzen received an Artist's Award from the National Endowment of the Arts. She has also authored …

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    "Dinner . . ." by Jesse Nathan just released

    April 24, 2009

    Jesse Nathan has just published a chapbook with Milk Machine Press in Oakland, California. This limited edition of 250 copies, is accompanied by a CD with Nathan’s readings of the poems in concert with original compositions by Chris Janzen . The book contains seventeen poems - one poem for each guest at a dinner party thrown by our gracious host, Virginia Woolf. The chapbook is entitled:

    Dinner, or A Deranged Event Staged in a Theoretical Mansion in Which Time and History Have Been Grossly Dismembered and What We Know as the Laws of Physics Wildly Subverted, Conducted as an Inquiry …

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    Send Your Updates for the Mennonite Writing Bibliographies

    April 13, 2009

    Ervin Beck is in the process of updating the three bibliographies linked on the CMW homepage. Please send your additions, corrections and suggestions to Note that the bibliographies do not usually include book reviews, self-published books or single poems or short stories published in periodicals or anthologies.

    Ervin Beck, CMW Journal Editor, Goshen College

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    Blog features materials about Yaguchi

    March 16, 2009

    Ross Bender has posted materials related to the Japanese poet Yorifumi Yaguchi on his blog Mennonite Oku no Hosomichi. He writes:

    I have been posting [Yaguchi] materials on my Osoroshii Menonaito Nikki blog the past few weeks. These include photos of a 1967 pastors' conference in Hokkaido which my father and I attended as part of his "Project Contacting Younger Churches" when he was Dean of AMBS. I've included several paragraphs from his diary of that trip. Also photos by missionary Charles Shenk of me, my dad, and Yaguchi. Also a scan of an early Yaguchi volume of poetry …

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    Mennonite Comic Fiction by Paul Wiebe

    March 1, 2009

    Read James Juhnke's review of Christian Bride, Muslim Mosque, Paul Wiebe's a comic novel of growing up Mennonite in Idaho during the 1940s and 50s.

    Paul Wiebe, professor emeritus at Wichita State University, has founded his own press, Komos Books, named after the Greek word for comedy and has published several works of comic fiction.

    Read about Paul Wiebe and his previous novel, Pope Benedict XVI, here:

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    Watch out for that Mennonite in a Little Black Dress!

    January 31, 2009

    One of Henry Holt's lead titles for the fall of 2009 will be Rhoda Janzen's memoir entitled Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home. It's already made Publishers' Weekly, and it's being blurbed by the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert and Cynthia Kaplan.

    Stay tuned to the CMW news blog for more on this book in the coming year.

    Rhoda Janzen is an Associate Professor of English at Hope College, where she teaches American literature and creative writing. She lives in Allegan, Michigan. She is the author of Babel's Stair , a book of poems.

    Rhoda …

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    Welcome to the CMW

    January 15, 2009

    Welcome to the brand new Center for Mennonite Writing on the Web. We hope that you will visit us often to explore our features: the CMW Journal with a discussion forum, CMW Encyclopedia, and the CMW Community.

    The CMW Journal , guest edited by Ervin Beck, will be published bi-monthly. Each issue will typically focus on a particular theme, author, or genre within Mennonite Writing, and will include poetry, fiction, essays, and criticism.

    CMW Journal Discussion , housed in the CMW Community , is a forum feature that allows readers to interact with and respond to articles and literary works …

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    Special Issue of CMW Journal on Yorifumi Yaguchi

    January 15, 2009

    The second issue of CMW Journal will be devoted to Yorifumi Yaguchi, acclaimed Japanese poet who is also a Mennonite lay pastor. Disillusioned with Buddhism as a force for peace in Japan, Yaguchi discovered Mennonite missionaries in Japan after World War II and was delighted to find a religion of peace. Subsequently, Yaguchi attended the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana during the 1960s, and became a Mennonite. While in the United States, he published several chapbooks of poetry with the Pinchpenny Press at Goshen College. Upon returning to Japan, he became an active lay pastor at a Mennonite …