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  • 0 read more Hopeless Mennonite

    Hopeless Mennonite

    by Anna Wall

    Since it was Saturday, and since when I threw the pen across the room, it got all dusty, I decided that it was time to clean my apartment with Pine Sol again. I put the TV on and just left it on a random channel as I began cleaning. That's when I realized that the smell of Pine Sol had an uplifting effect on me. That smell made me feel like I was still part of Mexico and my family.

    I thought about it and realized that whenever we had cleaned with Pine-Sol back home, we had had something ...

  • 0 read more Mennonite Girl gets a Sinking Feeling

    Mennonite Girl gets a Sinking Feeling

    by Anna Wall

    I got up and wiped the Mexican dust off my clothes from sliding down Izaak's car and went back inside. I was just going to open the box my mom had sent me when my phone rang. I thought, "Man, today went from 'Nothing to do,' to 'I can't catch a break.'"

    I answered the phone, and it was Bree. She had heard that a tobacco farm was looking for Mexican Mennonite workers and she thought of me.

    She said to be there by seven the next day and explained that it was just a few back roads ...

  • 0 read more Interview with Veronica Enns

    Interview with Veronica Enns

    by Verónica Enns


    1. Tell us a little bit about your background.

    I grew up in the Campos Menonitas of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, in the early 80's isolated from the surrounding Mexican communities, amongst strict monopolies of Mennonite denominations who prohibited public education and all media and literature other than the Bible. Amongst a few cousins, I was one of the first to go to public school in a small Rancho were I learned Spanish and another culture. However, after secondary school, I was held home for three years before continuing high school due do religious limitations. Homemaking and helping with ...

  • 0 read more Veronica's Art

    Veronica's Art

    by Verónica Enns

    Veronica Fusion (bio pic)

    Photo taken by Raul Kigra 2016

    Adaptación, Three Mennonite Graces, June 2017 Acrylic on canvas, encaustic layer. As in the photograph she is installed with two head coverings used by Mennonite women the white before, the black after marriage.

    The little cups representing the innocent and playful childhoods we enjoy before growing up as adults. The colors in the painting are also playful and soft with outlines as in colored books.

    Red Suitcase, 2005

    Mixed techniques of found objects, plastered foot ...

  • 0 read more Breakfast on Sabinal

    Breakfast on Sabinal

    by Kerry Fast

    Breakfast on Sabinal I. Papaya and Hot Chocolate

    I never actually had papaya and hot chocolate for breakfast on Sabinal. I had it at Restaurant Constantino at the corner of Calle Minerva and Avenida Benito Juarez in the grid of dusty grey streets that makes up the Chihuahuan desert city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. Constantino is not a restaurant I'd highly recommend; a little bit dumpy, tables and chairs sprawled messily throughout the room. Nor would I vouch for the food except for the lime-soured papaya and the frothy hot chocolate.

    Sabinal is a small isolated ...

  • 0 read more Finding Our Place in Nature

    Finding Our Place in Nature

    by Priscilla Stuckey

    "It’s as if this project of reconciliation lies at the heart of all the problems of the modern world—because when people forget their ties to Earth, they forget their ties to one another."

  • 1 read more AGES AND AGES HENCE: A Conservative Mennonite Woman's Secret Dreams of Education

    AGES AND AGES HENCE: A Conservative Mennonite Woman's Secret Dreams of Education

    by Hope Nisly

    The Dream

    "This I remember. How happy I was to be there."

    Edith Swartzendruber Nisly (1919-2017)

    The dream came to her soon after she turned ninety and she called to tell me about it. She laughed as she spoke, but it was more tentative than her usual deep-seated laughter.

    I was nearly the youngest of a large family and born when my mother1 was close to forty; I had a relaxed relationship with her. She was past the general chaos that came with a profusion of young children in a too-small house, past the point she worried over other ...

  • 0 read more Songs for My Mother - Miriam L. Weaver, a Woman who Lived Beyond Boundaries

    Songs for My Mother - Miriam L. Weaver, a Woman who Lived Beyond Boundaries

    by Carol Ann Weaver

    Sometimes boundaries need to be understood in a transgressive way, when persons thought of as insiders have actually had to live outside the generally accepted borders containing cultural clout, control, comfort, convention, and community norms. Due to life events, chosen and unchosen, my staunchly Mennonite mother Miriam L. Weaver, 1922-1997, had to live outside many boundaries guarding preferred lifestyle, leadership, opportunity, and pay equity. These areas affected dress, marital status, education, work and leadership. This essay deals not only with factors within my mother's life, but also with manners and stylistic idioms with which I, as a composer, have ...

  • 0 read more On Postcolonial Mennonite Writing: Theorizing a Queer Latinx Mennonite Life

    On Postcolonial Mennonite Writing: Theorizing a Queer Latinx Mennonite Life

    by Daniel Shank Cruz


    In her 2017 essay "The Scope of This Project," one of the most important pieces of Mennonite literary theory ever, Sofia Samatar calls for an investigation of "postcolonial Mennonite writing," which includes work by Mennonite writers from global postcolonial contexts as well as "minority writers in North America."[1] Samatar's advocacy for hybrid Mennonite identities that encompass multiple ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, theologies, geographies, and, implicitly, sexualities—which I view as a necessary addition to Samatar's concept—epitomizes intersectional, anti-oppressive ideals. When I read Samatar's essay, something clicked for me. I felt that finally the theoretical tool existed for ...

  • 0 read more Mennonite Writing of the Post Colony

    Mennonite Writing of the Post Colony

    by Ann Hostetler

    Sofia Samatar, in our spring 2017 issue (vol. 9, 2), offered a vision of a world Mennonite literature in her essay, The Scope of the Project. The writers for such a literature already exist, Samatar writes, but “like any literature, world Mennonite literature has to be created. That is the daunting truth, the vast scope of this project.”

    This issue on Writing Across Borders offers a sampling of Mennonite Writing from one of the groups included in Samatar’s world vision, namely “the work of minority writers in North America, of black, Latinx, and indigenous Mennonites, whom I include in ...