Monday, January 18, 2021

Angeline Schellenberg*

Angeline Schellenberg is a Winnipeg poet, and the author of the new collection Fields of Light and Stone (2020, University of Alberta Press). The poems are, as Don McKay says, “acts of remembrance that are all the more poetic for being scrupulously plainspoken…” He also describes them as “a series of love letters to the dead” which says a lot of how Angeline Schellenberg, in these poems, commemorates her Mennonite grandparents, while thoughtfully considering the heritage they passed down to her. Her first full-length collection, Tell Them It Was Mozart, was published by Brick Books in 2016.

Although I was already well aware of her poetry, I only first met Angeline Schellenberg in Winnipeg in 2019 at the inaugural Faith In Form arts conference, which was organized by Burl Horniachek.

The following poem is from Fields of Light and Stone.


1586: as far back
as the Mennonite database
can take me.

All I find: the surname Voht,
a town called Culm.

My great-great-great-

had a daughter
who had a baby.
And on it goes.

What chases us down a family tree?
A high forehead?
A voice? A fear?

What drives me to scratch
the earth for these four-letter

Voht’s daughter named her son
Hans―God is gracious,
a promise I can translate.

But I cannot hear
the plea it answered.

Posted with permission of the poet.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Angeline Schellenberg: first post.

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.