Mennonite/s Writing VII: Movement, Transformation and Place

Thursday, March 12 – Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fresno Pacific University

The seventh in a series of Mennonite writing conferences in the United States and Canada, the conference comes to the West Coast of the United States for the first time next spring. The program includes readings, scholarly paper presentations, panels, writing workshops, performances, story-telling, book-signings, excursions, open microphone, conversations and feasting. Specific updates will be added to this page as they become available.

Check out the Call for Proposals and consider a submission!

Online registration for will be available soon.

Keynote Speakers

Philip Levine is a well-known poet who taught for many years at California State University Fresno, and also, later, at New York University. Named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2011, he has also received the National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards. He is the author of over 20 poetry collections, some of the most recent being News of the World, Stranger to Nothing, and Breath. Levine is known for his working class poems and elegies which offer a complex tapestry of myth, history, family and memory.

David Mas Masumoto is an organic farmer and the author of seven books including Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, and Epitaph for a Peach. Currently, he is a columnist for The Fresno Bee. Masumoto has served as chair of the California Council for the Humanities and, in 2013, was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Obama.

Robert Zacharias is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo and Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Rewriting the Break Event: Mennonites and Migration in Canadian Literature (2013), co-editor of Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies (2012), and editor of After Identity: Mennonite/s Writing in North America, a collection of essays currently under review. He is also the associate editor of the Journal of Mennonite Studies.

Conference Sponsors and Committee

This conference is co-sponsored by Hesston College.

Conference Bi-National Committee:

  • Kristen Eve Beachy, Eastern Mennonite University 
  • Hildi Froese Tiessen, Conrad Grebel University 
  • Jeff Gundy, Bluffton University 
  • Ann Hostetler, Goshen College 
  • Jean Janzen, Fresno 
  • Hope Nisly, Fresno Pacific University 
  • Fran Martens Friesen, Fresno Pacific University 
  • Karen Sheriff LeVan, Hesston College 
  • Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Pennsylvania State University 

Local Committee: 

  • Adam Schrag 
  • Billie Jean Wiebe 

About the Artists:

Eliana Saucedo is an adjunct professor of art at Fresno Pacific University; Chris Janzen is assistant professor of art at Fresno Pacific University; Paul Buxman is a fruit farmer and plein air artist from Kingsburg, CA.

For any questions, please email Hope Nisly or Fran Martens Friesen.