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Welcome to my home page. Here you'll find some work I've done, information about books I've published and classes I teach, and eventually, I hope, more.

Like most other things in my life, this page is critiqued more often than it is revised, let alone improved. Still, I keep piddling and tinkering. Hope springs.

                                                Jeff Gundy

For more about Bluffton University and my department, see the
                                        English Department Home Page.

                For my course web pages and information, click here.

Wow. Itís been a long, long time since I updated this page . . .

But my new book is out! Songs from an Empty Cage: Poetry, Mystery, Anabaptism, and Peace contains most of the literary essays Iíve written since Walker in the Fog appeared in 2005. Many of them take a theopoetic approach to subjects Iíve been pondering for years: poetry, God, heresy, peace, martyr stories, music, metaphor, and on and on. I hope that anyone interested in these things will find it worthwhile. Order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and read an excerpt here.

From the back cover:
In accessible, lyrical prose, Jeff Gundy takes on poetry, peace, heresy, martyr stories, music, metaphor, and more in this sequel to his award-winning Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing. Is there a tradition that is at once rebellious, deeply communal, wildly individual, and truly peaceable? If we recognize and create it, Gundy insists, the answer is yes.
Donald Revell, Author, Pennyweight Windows: New and Selected Poems, says that "Time was that American writing was intent upon entirety. Language was pilgrimage, and cadence kept the rhythms of a motive faith. It was a time of outrageous piety (whose upper register is poetry) and joyful critique (whose upper register is poetry)-the time of Thoreau's Week and Whitman's Specimen Days and Henry Miller's Air-Conditioned Nightmare. I am pleased to say that, in Gundy's Songs, that time is now."
Jean Janzen, Author, Entering the Wild: Essays on Faith and Writing and many poetry volumes, affirms that "With his lively prose and inquiring spirit, Gundy woos us into his poetic exploration of theology, a fertile journey through the complications of belief, desire, and mystery, which leads to an open table of love, generosity, beauty, and hope. This book feeds the soul."
As Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image, observes, "Yeats once said: 'We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.' Gundy's rich, evocative book shows how Mennonite writers have made poetry out of their lover's quarrel with the Anabaptist tradition. In his graceful exposition we see how tradition and transgression are intertwined in one generative, ongoing story."
And Scott Holland, in the Foreword, reports that "Reading Gundy's Songs, I smiled in delight and satisfaction at a writer whose deep soul is simultaneously Romantic, Anabaptist, and Transcendental."

 

Some new things as of August 2011:

Recent poems online in The Adirondack Review, Arsenic Lobster and Hamilton Stone Review. A new interview with Cameron Conaway is here, and an ďArtist of the MonthĒ feature from Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion is here.

A new book I'm pleased to be part of: Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets, ed. Todd F. Davis and Erin Murphy (SUNY, 2010).

 And things not quite so new:   

                            
Spoken
  among the Trees was released in fall 2007 as part of the Akron Poetry Series. Click here for the University of Akron Press description and ordering information, or here and here for a few sample poems. If you'd like a signed copy, contact me here.

The title poem of Spoken among the Trees, "Night, the Astonishing . . . ,"
appeared on Verse Daily on August 15, 2008, and should be available in their archives for some time.

Spoken among the Trees won the Society of Midland Authors 2007 Poetry Award, given each year for the best book of poems in the 12-state Midwestern region.


A review of Spoken among the Trees by Cameron Conaway (from Rattle).

 


I was in Salzburg on a Fulbright lectureship at the University of Salzburg with my wife Marlyce from March-June of 2008. I taught three courses in the American Studies department, and we had the chance to travel a good bit, both in Austria and in neighboring countries. I kept a somewhat intermittent travel blog with text and photos that is still available here, though I will not be making more entries. A more serious project on this experience is in the works, God willing and the creek donít rise.

Here's one token photograph--taken on a sunny Sunday about 4/5 of the way to the top of the Gaisberg, the mountain on the northeast side of Salzburg.

A biographical note

                   Vita

 

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Deerflies
won the 2003 Editions Poetry Prize and the 2005 Nancy Dasher Award, given by the College English Association of Ohio for the best book of the year in the creative writing category.  Click here to go to the Wordtech Editions page with more information, comments, and links to sample poems and the book's Amazon.com page. 



Here is a  review of Deerflies by Raylene Hinz-Penner.

Description: Walker in the Fog coverWalker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing (Cascadia, 2005) gathers my thinking and writing about Mennonite literature. One piece from the book, "Heresy and the Individual Talent," appeared online in Mennonite Life. Click here for more information and an order form.

 
Walker in the Fog was chosen for the 2006 Dale W. Brown Award, given by Elizabethtown College for "outstanding scholarship in Anabaptist and Pietist studies." Here's a news release about the award.


My chapbook Greatest Hits 1984-2003 appeared in 2003 in Pudding House's Greatest Hits series. It includes a dozen poems and an introductory essay. For ordering information, click here.

Other books and related links:

Scattering Point: The World in a Mennonite Eye 


SUNY Press, 2003
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†††† Essays on Anabaptist history, landscape, my Amish roots and Mennonite ancestors in Illinois, Alsace, and south Germany--as well as raspberries, baby chicks, depression, the relation between birds and souls, and much more.

Rhapsody with Dark Matter  Bottom Dog Press, 2000.

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†††From "Rain":

And a stray face spins me back to the
                                          black-haired girl
I saw long ago and stood helpless
watching her pass, bareheaded in the rain,
the easy way she found, wet but not hunched
against it, hair damp and shining on her brow,
her shoulders.  I wanted to give something
for the dark rain of that hair . . .

A link to "Lemons"

A Community of Memory : My Days with George and Clara
Illinois, 1996


Updated! Poems and prose excerpts  from various sources.

An excerpt from an essay on my work by David Wright

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Course materials and links

Yes, these are long outdated, but might be of interest to someone out there in web land.


LAS 302-02 Issues in Modern America
Newly updated for spring 2009.

Modern Lit: Surrealism to Slipstream Information Click here for information and links related to English 265, surrealism, magic realism, and slipstream fiction.

LAS 301-01 Issues in Modern America Ongoing site for this course for spring 2006.

Mennonite Literature Page Created for ENG 265: Studies in Modern Lit: Mennonite Literature.

Home Page for Goshen Poetry Workshop, April 2004

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For the source list I compiled for my "Versions of Wonder" workshop at the 2007 Cornerstone Festival Imaginarium , click here.


If you have comments or suggestions, email me at gundyj@bluffton.edu
     

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Last modified 10/11/2013