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    Blush named one of the top spiritual books of 2013

    December 6, 2013

    Shirley Showalter's memoir, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, was listed by Spirituality and Practice as one of the top 50 spiritual books published in 2013.

    This "sprightly and well-written" memoir, Showalter's first book, recounts her upbringing on a family farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and 60s.

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    Forthcoming poetry by Jeff Gundy

    December 6, 2013

    Poet Jeff Gundy has been busy lately. In addition to releasing a new book of essays, he has been writing his seventh book of poems, Somewhere Near Defiance, coming soon from Anhinga Press.

    Reviewer Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared, says, "Just as a river finds inevitable kinship between remote hills and a distant sea, this book employs the prehensile reach of poetry to link local wisdom and distant war, to bind sacred callings and daily life. Defiance against what's wrong is devotion to what's right, and for Jeff Gundy ...

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    Death Poems collection released

    November 3, 2013

    Disinformation Books has just published an anthology called Death Poems: Classic, Contemporary, Witty, Serious, Tear-Jerking, Wise, Profound, Angry, Funny, Spiritual, Atheistic, Uncertain, Personal, Political, Mythic, Earthy, and Only Occasionally Morbid.

    The collection, edited by Russ Kick, gathers the best poems about death and dying from across history.

    The book features 320 poems from writers like William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Yeats, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, and William Stafford. It includes three poems reprinted from Todd Davis's book Some Heaven.

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    John Ruth's memoir: Branch

    November 3, 2013

    A forthcoming memoir called Branch: A Memoir with Pictures celebrates the rich history of the Anabaptist-Mennonite storyteller, John L. Ruth. This coffee-table-sized book features short, detailed essays and full page photographs that serve as a window into the Ruth's life and also the broader Mennonite community.

    John Ruth, born on a farm in Pennsylvania, is an ordained minister with a PhD from Harvard University. He has researched and written about the Anabaptist-Mennonite experience for over 60 years.

    Branch will launch in the U.S. on November 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mennonite Heritage Center in Harleysville ...

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    Peace Essay Contest

    November 3, 2013

    Bethany Theological Seminary just announced an essay contest for high school, college, seminary, and graduate school students.

    Participants will write an essay discussing how personal and public peacemaking efforts address universal concerns.

    The contest, sponsored by the Jennie Calhoun Baker Endowment, includes prizes up to $2000. The deadline for entries is January 27, 2014.

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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 ...