Author Tags: Poetry

Elsie K. Neufeld lives on Sumas Mtn, just east of Abbotsford. In addition to writing, she teaches "Life-Stories" in a variety of places throughout the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland (mostly Hospice settings and to Seniors). She edited Half in the Sun (Ronsdale, 2006), an anthology of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry by 25 Mennonite-related writers of British Columbia including Andreas Schroeder, Patrick Friesen, Barbara Nickel, Oscar Martens and Carla Funk. "I initiated this book some three and a half years ago out of curiousity and writerly loneliness," she said, in 2006). "Who, I wondered, besides myself and a few others I knew of, were out there, somewhere in BC, writing, and also of Mennonite heritage? With the help of Internet searches, scouring literary magazine bios for ethnic Mennonite names as well as BC BookWorld's directory of BC writers, word-of-mouth, and a whole lot of determination and perseverance on my part, I located nearly fifty writers who fit that rather loose description. I contacted these people by email, invited them to participate by submitting their best writing (response was immediate and exceptionally enthusiastic!), and then, with the help of several stellar co-editors, selected 25 of the best."

Elsie K. Nuefeld's chapbook poetry collection Grief Glading Up (Abbotsford: Lipstick Press 2009) was published in a limited editon of 100 copies. $8 plus shipping

[BCBW 2009] "Mennonite"

Half in the Sun
Press Release (2006)

"In recent years Mennonites have become one of the most visible ethnic literary communities in Canada. With the publication of Half in the Sun, BC writers of Mennonite heritage claim their place in this community. The authors represented in Half in the Sun are West Coast writers who share a history rooted in a dark region littered with stories of repeated migration, Soviet terror, displacement and resettlement. Some bear witness to their ancestors' struggles as marked people and as refugees assimilating into Canadian culture. Others have woven together texts that bring to light the human experiences of old and new-world homes, community, family, love, faith, rebellion, and explorations of a very large world often with gusto, humour and irony. Several factors contribute to the broad range in this first-of-its-kind anthology: its multi-genre nature; the intentional mix of new, recently emerging, established and prize-winning writers; and the fact that a number of the authors are Prairie transplants whose work continues to be influenced by ties to that region's geography, politics and local cultures. Readers will recognize the universality of these experiences. This anthology ends the collective invisibility of British Columbia's Mennonite writers in a very decisive way." -- Ronsdale Press