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  • 0 read more Selected Poems

    Selected Poems

    by Sylvia Bubalo

    The major long poem, “From the Turquoise Sky 21st Century You,” opens the selection. It is followed by a selection of shorter work, chosen from a manuscript of over 500 pages by Miriam Kirchner Gross. The contemporary epic, “A History of St. Charlie’s Chicago,” concludes this selection.—AH

  • 1 read more Sylvia Gross Bubalo, Artist and Poet, Born into a Mennonite Tradition

    Sylvia Gross Bubalo, Artist and Poet, Born into a Mennonite Tradition

    by Leonard Gross

    September, 2010

  • 3 read more Chasing the Bonnet

    Chasing the Bonnet

    by Beth Graybill

    A few years ago, when conducting dissertation research on Amish women in business, I visited a gift shop and noticed a rack of romance novels with pictures of Amish women on the cover. I asked the Amish business owner, “Do you sell a lot of these?”

    “Yes,” she said, “the tourists like them.”

    “Do Amish buy them?”

    “Well,” she said, “a lot of people read them.” Later, when I was giving an earlier version of this essay at a public conference at Elizabethtown, an Amish grandfather told me, “We would have some of these ...

  • 0 read more Chapter 1

    Chapter 1

    by Judy Clemens

    “This here’s my daughter Katie. She’s thirteen, and lives for marching band. Plays the flute. You wouldn’t believe the way they work them kids. She’s in better shape than I ever been.” Evan the trucker laughed and patted his sizable gut, which almost touched the steering wheel of the semi.

    Death gave out a snort, chin to chest, mouth open. The trucker’s conversation obviously wasn’t interesting enough to keep the Grim Reaper awake, and the lack of traffic on the sleepy highway gave no relief from the steady clicking of the tires on the pavement, or the view of ...

  • 0 read more Making Ghosts

    Making Ghosts

    by Karl Schroeder

    What stands out in memory is that first picture of Maier's idea. I am standing at her right shoulder, and she leans forward over the RISC station and taps the mouse a couple of times. The nineteen inch monitor lights up with a three-dimensional image like a mist of caged light.

    "See there," says Maier. "That's a thought."

    "It's pretty," I say, quite uncomprehending. "This is 24-bit colour, right?"

    "Forget the screen, Graham. Look at what's in it." And she tells me what I'm seeing: a picture of her brain's synaptic activity, taken while ...

  • 0 read more Mennonite and Amish Serial Fiction: An Informal Bibliography

    Mennonite and Amish Serial Fiction: An Informal Bibliography

    by Ervin Beck

    Joe Springer, curator of the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College, wants the library to contain all books ever published by and about Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites. He not only knows the MHL catalog, but he combs both rare book and new book catalogs and seems to remember whatever he has seen.

    So when I was writing “In This Issue” as an introduction to serial fiction by and about Mennonites and Amish, I wanted to include a paragraph listing of all such authors’ names. I knew of eleven. I sent the list to him, asking him to add any others ...

  • 2 read more Poetry Feature:  Six Poems

    Poetry Feature: Six Poems

    by Jeff Gundy

    We are pleased to publish for the first time a selection of six poems by Jeff Gundy, author of the award-winning Spoken Among the Trees (University of Akron Press 2007) and four other poetry collections. In these poems the worlds of popular culture—suggested by references to Ronald Reagan, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan—intersect with poetic forms inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke and Georg Trakl to create a meditative collage. The homage to these Austrian poets is perhaps a nod to the fruits of Gundy’s Fulbright Lectureship at the University of Salzburg in 2008. In the final poem, "Biblipgraphical Lament," Gundy plays with the ways in which Stanley Hauerwas's glosses on John Howard Yoder inspire his own meditations.

    Of these poems Gundy says: “I find myself trying to be mindful of so many things at once: the need to reckon somehow the almost unspeakable intersections, griefs and privileges of ordinary American life, to pay attention and homage to the ten thousand things of this world, to honor and to resist. At the same time, the language makes its own demands. As it is read and said, the poem should somehow give pleasure in its sounds, its shapes, its images, even as perhaps it troubles. And all this happens, of course, in the stew-pot of my particular set of history, traditions, commitments and obsessions.”

    The poems are both playful and edgy—not entirely at ease in the world. Gundy nudges his readers to attend to the contradictory images they daily imbibe as members of a media culture. In this way his poems are deeply Anabaptist, searching for wholeness—although preferring honesty to false piety—in the midst of a life permeated with the profane.

    -- A. H.

  • 0 read more Review Essay: P. L. Gaus’s Ohio Amish Mystery Series

    Review Essay: P. L. Gaus’s Ohio Amish Mystery Series

    by Kyle Schlabach

    Blood of the Prodigal (1999), Broken English (2000), Clouds Without Rain (2001), Cast a Blue Shadow (2003), A Prayer for the Night (2006), Separate from the World (2008).

    -- Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.

  • 0 read more “A Whisper of Satin”: The Infant Dress Leitmotif

    “A Whisper of Satin”: The Infant Dress Leitmotif

    by Michelle Thurlow

    Although best-selling inspirational novelist Beverly Lewis is understandably credited with "g[iving] birth to" the lucrative Amish fiction genre in 1997 with the release of her inaugural adult novel The Shunning (Gorski, par. 9), Lewis was not the first author to write about horse-and-buggy Plain folk, nor was she the first to pen romance novels about them.

    As Steven Nolt points out, "The dawning of the twentieth century brought the prospect of new relationships between modernity and a people [the Amish] who stood apart from its promises and goals" (257), as illustrated by the publication of a book ...

  • 10 read more Passing on the Faith: Mennonite Writing for Children

    Passing on the Faith: Mennonite Writing for Children

    by Kathy Meyer Reimer

    Mennonites claim a strong heritage of women writers--in children’s and adolescent literature. In examining the trends of publishing at Herald Press, the book division of the Mennonite Publishing House at Scottdale, Pennsylvania, a number of distinct waves of literature become clear. I will examine the trends from Herald Press, not because it is the definitive press for Mennonite authors or illustrators, but because it has consistently published literature for children over the past 60 years. In each era of publishing, I will suggest some examples. They are not comprehensive, but representative of a specific genre, emphasis or style of writing ...