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  • 1 read more Introduction: Queer Mennonite Literature

    Introduction: Queer Mennonite Literature

    by Daniel Shank Cruz

    Any reasonable observer of the field of Mennonite literature must agree that it is currently flourishing. Alongside a still-active first generation of Mennonite writers, a second, prolific generation of writers has emerged.[i] In addition to this creative work, new scholarly collections such as After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America and 11 Encounters with Mennonite Fiction are evidence of the field's robust discourse.[ii]

    Queer Mennonite literature is becoming more and more visible as a movement within this recent activity. Lots of younger Mennonite authors are writing queerly, whether in terms of writing about LGBTQ2IA+[iii] experiences or ...

  • 0 read more A Brief History and Bibliography of Queer Mennonite Literature

    A Brief History and Bibliography of Queer Mennonite Literature

    by Daniel Shank Cruz

    In a 2008 personal essay, Jan Guenther Braun explains that she writes as a starting point for the creation of "queer Mennonite academic history."[i] Happily, in the decade since her essay, the body of queer Mennonite writing that Braun calls for has come into being, encompassing both creative writing and literary criticism. The present bibliography reveals this boom, which has led to queer writing becoming an important subfield of Mennonite literature. Perhaps surprisingly, the bibliography also shows that the roots of queer subject matter in Mennonite literature stretch back at least a quarter century before Braun's essay.[ii ...

  • 1 read more Rejecting Maleness: An Apology to the Revolution

    Rejecting Maleness: An Apology to the Revolution

    by Miriam Suzanne

    Thanksgiving with friends and strangers. I still wear a beard, but my nails are iridescent. This is how I measure time, before Caitlyn. The conversation turns to a trans woman I've never met. I've never met any trans women, that I know of. My friend says:

    —If we eliminate these rigid gender roles, would anyone need to be trans?

    Over the years, this question takes many forms:

    —What does it mean to "experience" one's gender as this or that?

    —What does it mean to "feel like" a woman?

    —What does "being a woman" mean to you?

    —Can ...

  • 0 read more ARCHIVES AT A TIME

    ARCHIVES AT A TIME

    by Kandis Friesen

    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF WAR
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF NOT-WAR
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF ECONOMIC CRISIS
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF INFLATION
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF CORRUPTION
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF NATIONALISM
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF OCCUPATION
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF LOSS
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF NEOLIBERALISM
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF DISPLACEMENT
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF DISINVESTMENT
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF DIASPORA
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF NOSTALGIA
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF VIOLENCE
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF INDIFFERENCE
    ARCHIVES AT A TIME OF HOPE
    ARCHIVES AT A ...

  • 0 read more Gravity's End, The Para-Architectural and The Not Not-ruins

    Gravity's End, The Para-Architectural and The Not Not-ruins

    by Kandis Friesen

    The buttress is an exoskeleton. It is necessary and functional, it shows that support is needed. It exposes the impending collapse if it were not there. Its size and construction imply its objective as a long-term goal, that it must remain for some time, that it must endure a persistent task—a large and persistent task.

    It is simple. It is strong in its simplicity, it was thought out, designed, adjusted, then built to fit this specific building, these specific walls, this specific ground, this specific place. It is untreated, it is weathered, it adds itself as a ...

  • 1 read more Isaac Bowman's Birthday: An Excerpt from "Plain Love: A Novel"

    Isaac Bowman's Birthday: An Excerpt from "Plain Love: A Novel"

    by Andrew Harnish

    "But all of us together are but a party of children wandering in from the country, travel-stained, tired, and bewildered with glory."

    -Robert Hugh Benson

    3.

    Like a prince Isaac sat there, like a prince at his table. He swung his legs, glanced over at his closest friend, Luke Sauder, and back at the wooden clock beside the window. The second hand swung triumphantly up toward twelve o'clock. 57 seconds, 58.

    'It's time,' Isaac cried, as the clock struck twelve. 'It's time.'

    At the stove, his mother kept stirring. Finally, she turned, her blue eyes wide with ...

  • 2 read more An Excerpt from "Don't Drive Too Fast, Don't Stay Too Late, and Be Good"

    An Excerpt from "Don't Drive Too Fast, Don't Stay Too Late, and Be Good"

    by Jan Guenther Braun

    The pants had Wayne Gretzky's signature embroidered across the back pocket. I felt powerful, like the Great One's signature stitched across my ass was surely a precursor to all of my dreams eventually coming true. Grandma Klassen used to have us over every Sunday afternoon and, as was her practice, she had bags of used clothing waiting for each of us. I still wonder how on God's green earth she got her hands on that many used clothes; there were six of us.

    Henry started digging through his bag without much enthusiasm. He never liked to seem ...

  • 0 read more An Excerpt from Gonzalo Vega and the Portal Down Below

    An Excerpt from Gonzalo Vega and the Portal Down Below

    by Stephen Beachy

    The cottage where Gonzalo was recuperating was one of eight identical cottages between an abandoned business and an alley that ran south toward Mexico. Gonzalo's right foot was gone; how exactly, he couldn't remember. Philip, the strange little man who had nursed him back to health, had found him bleeding on the street in downtown San Diego, unconscious. There'd been an explosion, and only Gonzalo's fire retardant properties had saved him from major skin burns, Philip said. Philip was growing him a replacement foot, but it wasn't ready yet, and Gonzalo was still ill.

    He ...

  • 0 read more Two Poems

    Two Poems

    by Lynnette D'anna

    posthumous

    I dream a rocky coast somewhere in Galapagos a lizard

    penetrates me lazily with forever on his mind winking one staid eye

    pretending to be wise as though age has anything to do with knowing truth

    opus dust rises like a soft slow mist from his ancient smoky bones

    and under this duress I reluctantly confess to knowing well before

    we started this affair that you were buried long ago

    that your spirit is an orchestra of blistered plastic

    comes as no surprise since you reside in hell

    your open mouth upon my skin the soft and secret whispered ...

  • 0 read more The Finest of Lines

    The Finest of Lines

    by Kay Lorraine

    I walk the finest of lines. Between unshakable faith and unflagging doubt. Between men and women, rich and poor, the haves and have-nots. Between my queer life and the straight world I inhabit regularly out of necessity. That line bounds my life, placing me in the World, but not of it, situating me in multiple spaces, yet assigning me comfortably to none.

    The line between belonging and not belonging is a thin one, but it's tall and wide, like an industrially reinforced bulletproof glass enclosure pieced together from a million little prohibitions and minor denials of indulgence. Like grains ...

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