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    Call for Papers: Mennonite/s Writing: Manitoba and Beyond

    January 14, 2009

    Mennonite/s Writing: Manitoba and Beyond
    Winnipeg, October 1 - 4, 2009

    Featuring a literary tour of southern Manitoba, and readings by: David Bergen, Sandra Birdsell, Di Brandt, David Elias, Patrick Friesen, Sarah Klassen, David Waltner-Toews, Armin Wiebe, Rudy Wiebe and others to be confirmed.

    Writers who have grown up within the Mennonite communities of Manitoba have made a huge contribution to Canadian literature over the course of the last half century. Among those recently nominated for national literary awards are novelists David Bergen, Sandra Birdsell, Miriam Toews, Rudy Wiebe and poets Di Brandt and Patrick Friesen. These and other Mennonite …

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    The Body and the Book available in paperback this spring

    January 14, 2009

    Julia Spicher Kasdorf's essay collection, The Body and The Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, will be released in paperback this spring by Penn State University Press with a new introduction by the author.

    From the publisher's website:

    “Poetry often arises in unlikely places. This fine book helps us understand why.” —Brian Conniff, Religious Studies Review

    Now in paperback, Julia Kasdorf's The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life investigates the often difficult relationships among writing, community, and belief. The book examines aspects of Mennonite life from the perspective of family stories and historical documentation as well …

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    Helen Alderfer's collected poems published by Cascadia

    January 13, 2009

    Helen Wade Alderfer has long been known in Mennonite publishing, as the editor of Christian Living for 25 years, and On the Line for 14 years, as well as editor of A Farthing in Her Hand . Fewer people know that Alderfer has also been a life-long poet and devoted member of a writing group. Now, for the first time, Helen's poetry has been collected in a single volume, The Mill Grinds Fine , and co-published by Cascadia Publishing House with Herald Press.

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    Julia Spicher Kasdorf receives NEA Poetry fellowship in Literature for 2009

    December 4, 2008

    Julia Spicher Kasdorf, author of Sleeping Preacher and Eve's Striptease , has been awarded a Fellowship in Poetry by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA announced today a list of 42 poets who will be recipients of grants in 2009. Each of the authors will receive $25,000 to support a creative writing fellowship.

    2009 Grant Awards: Literature Fellowships (Poetry)

    • Allen, William M.
    • Bargowski, John
    • Black, Rebecca
    • Bohince, Paula
    • Brown, Nickole
    • Candelaria, Xochiquetzal
    • Charara, Hayan
    • Cole, Henri
    • Diaz, Joanne
    • Dischell, Stuart
    • Freligh, Sarah
    • Frost, Helen
    • Gibb, Robert
    • Goetsch, Douglas
    • Graham, Loren
    • Green, Samuel
    • Hicok, Bob
    • Jaffe, Maggie
    • Kasdorf, Julia …
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    The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews Wins Prize

    December 2, 2008

    The Flying Troutmans , the latest novel by Miriam Toews, published by Knopf Canada in September 2008, won the 2008 Rogers Writer's Trust Fiction Prize.

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    School of Writing at CMU announces Spring 2009 faculty

    November 24, 2008

    The School of Writing at Canadian Mennonite University announces Spring 2009 faculty:

    Poetry—Barbara Nickel
    Intermediate Fiction—David Elias
    Advanced Fiction—David Bergen
    Creative Nonfiction—Myrna Kostash
    Life Writing—Joanne Klassen & Eleanor Chornoboy

    For more information & an application, visit or e-mail:

    The School of Writing at CMU is a program of CMU Continuing Education and the Department of English. In 2009 it will run from Monday to Friday, May 4-8. The School offers participatory workshops on writing Fiction (Advanced and Intermediate), Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction and Life Writing, along with one-on-one meetings with instructors. Participants will have opportunities to meet and learn …

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    Yorifumi Yaguchi Memoir Published

    November 15, 2008

    The Wing-Beaten Air: My Life and My Writing, a memoir by Yorifumi Yaguchi, has just been published by Good Books.

    From the publisher:

    Acclaimed Japanese poet, Yorifumi Yaguchi, has turned his writing attention to telling baldly what he experienced as a child growing up on the island of Honshu in the late 1930s and '40s.

    His piercing and disarming prose takes us to his family's vegetable farm within earshot of the sea. We go with him to his grandfather's Buddhist temple, where Yaguchi discovered ninja stories and where the air was as clear as the temple bell that …

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    Mennonite Writers at 2008 Vancouver Festival

    October 21, 2008

    The fall 2008 Vancouver International Readers & Writers Festival (October 21-26) featured performances by Mennonite Writers David Bergen, Barbara Nickel, and Andreas Schroeder.

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    Maurice Meirau publishes new poetry collection

    October 1, 2008

    Maurice Mierau's second collection of poetry, Fear Not, was published in fall 2008 by Turnstone Press.

    From the publisher's website:

    Fear Not is lyrical, political, raunchy, blasphemous, and deeply engaged with ethical questions. Inspired by the Gideon Bible's list of self-help topics each poem is arranged to play off poetic and Biblical forms.

    Ranging in subject from suicide to divorce, unemployment to gratitude, Afghanistan to Gethsemane, Fear Not attempts consolation, all the while mocking its own failure to lessen human pain.

    Mierau also surveys contemporary culture, skewering our intense involvement with pop phenomena such as America's Next Top …

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    Jeff Gundy wins Midland Poetry Award

    June 1, 2008

    Jeff Gundy's poetry collection, Spoken Among the Trees, won the Society of Midland Authors 2007 Poetry Award, given each year for the best book of poems in the 12-state Midwestern region of the United States.

    Spoken Among the Trees is published by the University of Akron Press.