(Meanwhile, following the election of Donald Trump in the United States, a night I subsequently spent vomiting into a freshly-scoured toilet bowl, I became something every Sunday and Sabbath School class, every church school teacher and every preacher had every told me I must not be. I became loud. I became furious. I became determined to not be part of any silent majority, not any more.I didn’t know where it might ever lead, if anywhere. It was possible I could be destined to forever break my heart on current events, repackaging it for the social media consumption of those who I suspected were all in agreement. (I was wrong, about the destiny and the agreement.
Instead, I met Mbizo Chirasha, a UNESCO-Rila affiliate poet-in-exile from his home in Zimbabwe. He gave me a single assignment, and taught me how to channel my efforts into the work of a literary activist.
Since then, I’ve taken on a leadership role as the Managing Editor of WordCity Monthly, a global online literary journal, dedicated to fostering understanding and inclusion of different people and cultures, while curating poetry, prose and spoken word that also speaks to peace-building and human rights.
Together with a dream team of editors, we have now begun to publish works of world class literature from writers who range from novices to Pulitzer nominees and Pushcart winners. Our first issue presented pieces from six continents and more than twenty distinct voices.
There’s a lot more to the story of where I’ve been for the last several years. This is a start, at least, and if you’re reading this, thank you. There’s a lot more to do and a lot more to come!)
Mennonites Don’t Dance Paperback by Darcie Friesen Hossack (Author)
This vibrant collection of short fictions explores how families work, how they are torn apart, and, in spite of differences and struggles, brought back together. Darcie Friesen Hossack’s stories in Mennonites Don’t Dance offer an honest, detailed look into the experiences of children – both young and adult – and their parents and grandparents, exploring generational ties, sins, penance and redemption.Taking place primarily on the Canadian prairies, the families in these stories are confronted by the conflict between tradition and change – one story sees a daughterin- law’s urban ideals push and pull against a mother’s simple, rural ways, in another, a daughter raised in the Mennonite tradition tries to break free from her upbringing to escape to the city in search of a better life. Children learn the rules of farm life, and parents learn that their decisions, in spite of all good intentions, can carry dire consequences.Hossack’s talent, honed through education and experience, is showcased in this polished collection, and is reflected in the relatable, realistic characters and situations she creates. The voices in the stories speak about how we measure ourselves in the absence of family, and how the most interesting families are always flawed in some way.
From the Back Cover
Darcie Hossack’s stories reverberate with what has been left unsaid, the silence between people that speaks of betrayal, forgiveness, and the power of love to prevail. This is a fine debut by a very promising writer.~ Sandra BirdsellUncompromising and often devastating, the stories in this collection prove the title true-both literally and metaphorically-but these very constraints make the stories’ hard-won moments of joy and insight especially memorable. A vivid, breathtaking book.~ Andreas SchroederDarcie Hossack introduces a culture in which dancing is verboten but the sensual pleasures of food are celebrated with artery-clogging abandon; life is cruel but rich in moments of grace. With unflinching honest, black humour and compassion, she serves up prose as richly palatable as cream gravy.~ Betty Jane Hegerat, author of Delivery
There’s an unfussy purity of expression here, and of narrative control, that sometimes recalls the short fiction of Alistair MacLeod.Globe&Mail–
Hossack’s writing may remind readers of…Mennonite authors Patrick Friesen and Miriam Toews.~Winnipeg Free Press
The stories are well written, with vivid imagery, by someone who knows well the rural prairies and the Mennonites who lived there.~Mennonite Weekly Review.
(But then Henry figured it out, too, when he inherited a pair of ice skates with the slackest boot leather you’ve ever seen. They’d already been worn by three cousins and our other two brothers. With no support, his ankles fells inwards and ached. It was colder than a witch’s tit that day, too (I learned that saying at recess from Erich Wiens, who everyone knows is going straight to hell). When my brother tried to skate on the frozen slough that he trudged a whole mile from the house to get to, the ice was too cold to thaw under the blunted blades, and all he managed to do was shuffle from end to end, his feet growing cold, then dangerously hot, then numb. Then he had to walk all the way home in the deep snow and, by the time he got back, was howling like we’d stuck him in the meat grinder. He blubbered even more when Mom dunked his feet in a bowl of warm water and rubbed his toes, which had gone white. But he stopped pretty quick when Dad came in and gave him the biggest bawling out of his life for being such a little wiener. None of his toes even fell off.)- Extract from LITTLE LAMB by Darcie Friesen Hossack