Monday, November 25, 2019

Joanne Epp

Joanne Epp is a Winnipeg poet ― originally from Saskatchewan ― whose first full-length collection, Eigenheim, appeared from Turnstone Press in 2015. She has also published a chapbook, Crossings (2012). The name Eigenheim is the German term for “one’s own home.” It is also the name of a small community in Saskatchewan, and the Mennonite Church located there.

In an interview with Canadian Mennonite University she said, “[O]ne of the things I love about poetry [is] that compressed energy that you can get,” She continued, “I think a lot about what being a poet really is… It has seemed to me that being attentive is an essential part of the poet’s work... It has to come out of a love for the world.”

She is connected with a rich circle of Christian poets in Winnipeg, including Sarah Klassen, Sally Ito, Burl Horniachek, Luann Hiebert, and Angeline Schellenberg.

Joanne Epp is assistant organist at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church.

Fugue on the Magnificat

Pachelbel and rain, dim light
on organ keys. Shadows
in the rafters, ribs
of an upside-down ship
parting the water. Down the panes
of pebbled glass, drip by drop,
eighth notes in steady quick-step.
I’m practicing someone else’s prayers,
a means to sharpen my own longing
for that constant love to which
each phrase of counterpoint gives answer.
Rain crescendos to fullness, a deep Amen
on pedal notes that re-echo in the woodwork.
I hold the last long chord, close the book.
Tomorrow I’ll return, repeat
and repeat the task.
Each progress a beginning.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.