poetry

An everlasting light

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Artwork by Emma Unger, Grade 11, Mennonite Collegiate Institute

God of grace, today we pray for peace for the City of Bethlehem.
It has had more than its share of conflict,
as it has changed from a sleepy little town to a bustling city
that is visited by millions each year.
Lord, you know the walls that separate people in Bethlehem:
walls of concrete, walls of prejudice, walls of hatred,

‘Poetry and art for mental health’

Adriel Brandt reads his poem “The Crow” at the May 3, 2018, “Art and Poetry for Mental Health” reception in Abbotsford. In the background is the photograph by Dale Klippenstein (sitting behind Brandt) accompanying the work. Communitas Supportive Care Society sponsored the art exhibit, focusing on mental health issues. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

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Poet Robert Martens shares his work at the Hear and See: Art and Poetry for Mental Health event in Abbotsford, B.C., on May 3, 2018. The exhibit, sponsored by the Communitas Supportive Care Society, gave voice to mental health issues. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and eating disorders may not sound like subjects for art, but a recent exhibit at the Reach gallery proved that art is a powerful medium for educating and talking about mental illness.

‘I do believe in prayer because I believe in poetry’

Sarah Ens earned an honourable mention in CV2’s 2017 Young Buck Poetry Prize competition. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

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Sarah Ens’s cat, Balto, is the inspiration behind her poetry that appears on Instagram @balto_thesleddog. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Ens)

Sarah Ens’s writing career started at the age of six with a story suspiciously similar to the children’s book, Julie and the Wolves. But since those early days, she has grown into an award-winning poet.

Culture-shaping poets tackle a formidable battery of themes and styles

A fresh anthology by the Mennonite Literary Society, 29 Mennonite Poets, is a welcome new frame for stand-out Canadian poetry. For years, Canadian poets have battled the challenges of a national literary climate that almost universally favours prose. In the world of Mennonite literature, this has meant that, while celebrated novelists like Miriam Toews and David Bergen steadily rise in fame and influence, their poet colleagues must fight hard for exposure. Many exceptional poets and poems languish for years in small, highly localized collections, newspapers and magazines.

Holy Saturday

Sunset in Bethlehem (Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe)

Holy Saturday,
The place for bleakness, twisted mourning, black.
I like this day, today,
How it holds permission to wallow and be in the dark,
To wander in the twisted depths.

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