A cappella: Mennonite voices in poetry

Front Cover
University of Iowa Press, Nov 1, 2003 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 199 pages
0 Reviews
IN Julia Kasdorf's poem "Mennonites, " she writes of her heritage and her people: "We keep our quilts in closets and do not dance./We hoe thistles along fence rows for fear/we may not be perfect as our Heavenly Father./We clean up his disasters. No one has to/call." Persecuted by Protestants and Catholics alike throughout history and largely misunderstood by the rest of the world, Mennonites have found it difficult to make their voices heard or respected. It is with a kind of true necessity, then, that an anthology of poetry, compiled by Ann Hostetler, a Mennonite poet herself, has finally emerged, possessing the potential to both challenge and correct our preconceived notions of this unique religious and cultural group. In this surprising collection, twenty-four Mennonite poets, both men and women, young and old, confront issues of identity, sexuality, religious doctrine, family, and individuality, sometimes with doubt and sorrow but always with candor and urgency. Often, their struggle to breakfree of rigid patterns, to maintain the integrity of individual experience while honoring the will of the community, speaks to an earnest desire to marry change with tradition. These poems poignantly grapple with contradiction and compromise, the unavoidable components of a made world. Ranging in tone from elegy to satire, the poems in A Cappella explore the tension between the artist's individual view and the power of a communal vision to mold and shape its members. A critical introduction to the volume defines the context of Mennonite poetry, and a concluding history of Mennonite poetry in North America provides a valuable resource for students and scholars. Each poet is also individuallyintroduced by a brief biographical essay. A Cappella is a valuable addition to any collection of poetry.

What people are saying - Write a review

A cappella: Mennonite voices in poetry

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This unique and rewarding collection brings together for the first time an enticing harvest of poems by writers connected to an ethnic religious tradition dating back to 1525. Skillfully edited with ... Read full review

Contents

Anna Ruth Ediger Baehr
1
Jane Rohrer
9
Sarah Klassen
16
Jeanjanzen
25
Leonard Neufeldt
33
Janet Kauffman
41
Betsy Sholl
48
Patrick Friesen
57
JuanitaBrunk
109
Shari Miller Wagner
116
Sheri Hostetler
124
Julia Kasdorf
128
Audrey Poetker
134
Todd Davis
140
David Wright
147
Barbara Nickel
154

David WaltnerToews
64
Raylene HinzPenner
73
Jeff Gundy
85
Keith Ratzlaff
94
AnnHostetler
103
Carmen Horst
162
Jessica Smucker Falcon
168
Contemporary Mennonite Poetry in North America
177
Further Reading
191
Copyright

Other editions - View all

About the author (2003)

Ann Hostetler teaches English and creative writing at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. Her first book of poems, Empty Room with Light, was published in 2002. Her poems have appeared in the American Scholar, Cream City Review, Mid-America Poetry Review, and other journals.