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    Mennonite Arts Weekend 2014

    October 6, 2013

    Mennonite Arts Weekend 2014 is scheduled to take place from February 7 to 9 at Pleasant Ridge Presbytarian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Registration is now open.

    This gathering includes worship sessions, workshops, presentations, and performances that celebrate Mennonite artists. Attendance is encouraged for artists and art enthusiasts of all ages.

    Come hear poet Jean Janzen, mystery novelist Judy Clemens, playwright and actor Ted Swartz, and many other Mennonite artists reflect on this year's theme, "Touching Mystery."

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    A Book Conservator Goes to Hollywood

    August 25, 2013

    Jeff Peachey, who wrote about his work in rare book conservation for the CMW's Word Work issue (Vol. 2, No. 2), recently found himself as the star of a Hollywood commercial.

    He played the role of a bookbinder—or, as Peachey quipped, "an actor playing a bookbinder."

    Peachey was whisked to Hollywood and became a first-time actor in front of a a full-fledged film set. He received royal treatment from hair, makeup, and wardrobe to food and water brought to him the minute he sat down.

    Take a look at Peachey's blog entry to read more about performing ...

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    Play by Merle Good to premiere Off-Broadway

    August 6, 2013

    The Preacher and the Shrink, a new play written by Mennonite author, publisher, and playwright Merle Good, will premiere this fall at Beckett Theatre in downtown New York. The play is scheduled to open on Saturday, November 2nd, and run until Sunday, January 5th.

    “It’s a dream come true,” Good said. “And I’m especially pleased that The Preacher and the Shrink is not only the best play I’ve ever written, but it’s also, I believe, the most thoughtful.”

    The two-hour drama tells the story of a popular pastor and his estranged daughter, exploring the complexities of ...

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    International chefs dine in Amish barn

    August 6, 2013

    What happens when the world's most exclusive chefs gather for a meal in an Amish barn in Lancaster County? LancasterOnline tells us the answer in this article:

    Yes, they partake of cocktails and a gala dinner at the tony Union Club on Park Avenue in New York, and lunch at the United Nations and the White House during their visit.

    But on a recent fresh summer day, the chefs of the heads of state from all over the globe gather for chicken croquettes, succotash, whoopie pies and other local dishes at an Amish barn in East Lampeter Township.

    It ...

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    Forthcoming poetry by Ruth Naylor

    July 31, 2013

    A Family Affair, a poetry collection by Ruth Naylor, is scheduled to release this fall with Finishing Line Press. Although this chapbook's subject matter is Naylor's own family relationships, in many ways, these poems express a universal experience.

    "With these poems Naylor illuminates the complicated terrain of family life.Her courageous telling invites us to bend with her as she kneels down "tocheck what life had done" and to see how a "spine straight as Biblical law"
    can soften in response to need and love. This collection holds our commonache for the other."
    -Jean Janzen, author ...

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    July 30, 2013

    Submissions deadline: September 3, 2013

    Publication Date: December 2013

    We are looking for new, unpublished work on any subject from writers and artists who self-define as Mennonites, whether practicing, declined, lapsed or resistant; we also accept writing and visual art by non-Mennonites about Mennonites.


    Poetry: Up to 30 lines (preferred)

    Fiction and non-fiction: Up to 2,500 words

    Artwork: Black-and-white artwork including high contrast photographs that reproduce well in the magazine printing process. A limited number of colour images are used in each issue, including a cover image and images for an art feature inside.

    Rhubarb also publishes ...

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    Indiana poems by Shari Wagner released

    July 29, 2013

    Shari Wagner's second book of poetry, The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana, has just been released by Bottom Dog Press. Wagner's collection explores the Midwest's natural beauty and offers a fresh perspective on a landcape many of us are familiar with.

    "This book you're holding represents years' worth of discipline and labor, of time and travel and, as you'll discover, the pure joy of attention and love of language. The thing that makes a poet undertake a particular project is a mystery, finally. One day Shari Wagner was called to understand something, and the ...

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    Poetry collection by Eileen R. Kinch

    July 14, 2013

    Finishing Line Press has recently released Gathering the Silence, a chapbook of poems by Eileen R. Kinch, a writer and editor in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania.

    This beautiful debut collection claims a space for silence by way of utterance: testimony so strong it sears the speaker’s lips, lifts in song, or finally falls to a hush. Kinch enacts the old association between poetry and the furrowed field preserved in the etymology of 'verse': vertere. Her lines turn as the plowman turns the row. 'Fields' articulates her personal and elegant ars poetica: The rows are straight, yet curving with/the contours ...

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    The Origin of Feces: A top nonfiction pick

    July 8, 2013

    David Waltner-Toews's The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society (ECW Press, May 2013) has earned critical acclaim from Publisher's Weekly and Huffington Post. Now Globe Books has named the book a top nonfiction read this summer.

    The Origin of Feces may sound like a bathroom read, and although there are plenty of puns, this book comes with a serious message. Critics have drawn comparisons to Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

    Book description:
    "An entertaining and enlightening exploration of why waste ...

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    Sofia Samatar's 'A Stranger in Olondria' published

    June 23, 2013

    In April 2013, Small Beer Press released Sofia Samatar's first book, A Stranger in Olondria.

    The critically acclaimed novel follows Jevick, a pepper-merchant's son, on his ghost-riddled adventure to the distant land of Olondria.

    Samatar, an American of Somali and Swiss German Mennonite background, wrote A Stranger in Olondria while teaching English in South Sudan.

    “Samatar’s sensual descriptions create a rich, strange landscape, allowing a lavish adventure to unfold that is haunting and unforgettable.”
    Library Journal (*starred review*)

    “It’s the rare first novel with no unnecessary parts – and, in terms of its elegant language, its ...