Mennonite/s Writing VI: Solos and Harmonies
Thursday, March 29-Sunday, April 1, 2012Jan Luyken

Online registration closed. Limited walk-on registration available Thursday night 4-6 p.m. and Friday morning 8-10 a.m. on the 2nd floor of the University Commons.

The sixth in a series of Mennonite Writing conferences in the United States and Canada, the conference comes to the East Coast of the United States for the first time this spring.

Participants will enjoy a performance by Canadian Mennonite playwright Vern Thiessen and a reading and lecture by Charlottesville, Va., poet Greg Orr. A growing list of writers including Katherine Arnoldi, Todd Davis, Dora Dueck, Jeff Gundy, Jean Janzen, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Keith Ratzlaff and Rudy Wiebe will read their work.

The festival program includes readings, scholarly paper presentations, writing workshops, performances, book-signings, and feasting.

View Conference Schedule

Conference highlights

  • Thursday 6 p.m. welcome and poetry reading by Todd Davis, Jeff Gundy, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, and Keith Ratzlaff. University Commons. (Public event, donations accepted.)
  • A performance of Jean Janzen and Alice Parker’s oratorio, “That Sturdy Vine” 8 p.m. Thursday evening. Lehman Auditorium. (Public event, donations accepted.)
  • EMU Chapel Friday 10 a.m. with Jean Janzen. Lehman Auditorium. (Public event.)
  • A Friday 7 p.m. performance by Vern Thiessen of “Back to Berlin,” a funny and lyrical look at fathers and sons. In this fast moving, 45 minute solo show, Vern Thiessen takes us on a trip with his father, back to Berlin, to discover the secrets lying in the city—and his father’s past. The show will be followed with a Q & A session with Hildi Froese Tiessen. Lehman Auditorium. (Public event, donations accepted.)
  • A Saturday 10:30 a.m. lecture by Gregory Orr on ethics and aesthetics, followed by a 1:30 p.m. reading of his poetry. Lehman Auditorium. (Public events, donations accepted.)
  • Updates on the state of the art by Hildi Froese Tiessen and Ann Hostetler.
  • A panel on theopoetics with Peter Dula, Jeff Gundy, Jean Janzen, and Scott Holland.
  • Paper presentations, panels, workshops, excursions, open microphone, conversations and feasting.
  • Sunday meditation by Rudy Wiebe, “The Seven Words of Silence.” 9 a.m. Lehman Auditorium. (Public event. Donations accepted.)
  • Speeches, performances, and readings by a growing list of artists including
    • Katherine Arnoldi
    • Todd Davis
    • Dora Dueck
    • Jeff Gundy
    • Ann Hostetler
    • Jean Janzen
    • Julia Spicher Kasdorf
    • Keith Ratzlaff
    • Sofia Samatar
    • Rudy Wiebe

View Conference Schedule

Conference sponsors and committee

The conference is co-sponsored by Conrad Grebel University College (Waterloo, Ont.) and supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Marpeck Foundation, and EMU’s Student Government Association.

Conference Committee:

  • Marti Greene Eads, Eastern Mennonite University
  • Jeff Gundy, Bluffton University
  • Chad Gusler, Eastern Mennonite University
  • Ann Hostetler, Goshen College
  • Hildi Froese Tiessen, Conrad Grebel University College
  • Paul Tiessen, Wilfrid Laurier University

Schedule and registration

The conference welcome starts at 6 p.m. Thursday. Sunday morning, we will wrap up our service of words and worship by 10:30 a.m.

Direct questions to conference co-chairs:
, Pennsylvania State University
, Eastern Mennonite University