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  • 0 read more From THE WHITE MOSQUE

    From THE WHITE MOSQUE

    by Sofia Samatar

    On Working with Documents

    In the 1880s, a group of Mennonites migrated from southern Russia, now Ukraine, to the Khanate of Khiva in present-day Uzbekistan. Motivated by a number of factors, including the impending loss of their exemption from Russian military service, the wave of millenarian fervor then sweeping through Europe, and the prophecies of the dynamic preacher, Claas Epp, Jr., this small group of travelers undertook a grueling journey into unfamiliar territory and established a village that lasted for fifty years.

    About five years ago, I became fascinated by these events for simple, personal reasons. As an early encounter ...

  • 0 read more Writings

    Writings

    by Abigail Carl-Klassen

    I was raised in the rural, workingclass community of Seminole, Texas. Austere and deeply conservative, yet vulnerable to the boom and bust cycles of the oil field and cash crop agriculture, Seminole negotiates the tenuous space between permanence and transience, tradition and change. A multi-cultural community, where English, Spanish and Low German can be heard in the streets and stores, Seminole is home to a large Mexican-American community and a sizeable Low-German speaking Old Colony Mennonite community who immigrated to the area from northern Mexico beginning in 1977. As a girl attending a strict Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church, I befriended ...

  • 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 ...