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Bethel welcomes visiting writers to campus

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College welcomes two creative writers to campus, both of whom will be reading from recent work while here.

Steven Wingate, Brookings, South Dakota, will be the first presenter in the Bethel College Visiting Writers Series 2015–16, sponsored by the Department of Literary Studies.

Wingate will be on campus Oct. 27. At noon, he will lead a brown-bag lunch discussion on “Cultivating a Creative Campus through Undergraduate Literary Magazines” in the First Bank Conference Room in Schultz Student Center.

At 7:30 p.m., there will be a lightning-round student open mike, with students reading their own or others’ work, with a reading by Wingate following. The location is Memorial Grove at the Sand Creek Trail trailhead, or the Administration Building chapel in case of bad weather.

There will also be s’mores fixings available for a donation to the campus literary magazine, YAWP!. The public is welcome at the brown-bag lunch and the evening reading.

Wingate is a multi-genre author whose work ranges from print to interactive media.

Wingate’s short story collection Wifeshopping (Houghton Mifflin, 2008) won the Bakeless Prize for Fiction from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He is also the author of a prose poem collection, Thirty One Octets: Incantations and Meditations (WordTech/CW Books, 2014). His digital lyric memoir daddylabyrinth premiered in 2014 at the ArtScience Museum of Singapore and has been exhibited atvenues in the United States, Korea and the United Kingdom.

Wingate teaches creative writing, filmand digital media at South Dakota State University, Brookings.

Poet and essayist Jeff Gundy, Bluffton, Ohio, will read from his two most recent books of poetry at the second of three presentations in Bethel’s annual Menno Simons Lectures series, Nov. 1–2.

In addition to his volume of poetry Somewhere Near Defiance (Anhinga, 2014), “I quite suddenly and unexpectedly have another book of poems just out – Abandoned Homeland, published by Bottom Dog Press, which did two of my earlier books,” Gundy said.

Gundy will lecture Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., all in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, on the overall topic “Wrestling with Mennonite/s Writing.”

The second of Gundy’s Menno Simons Lectures, during convocation, will be a poetry reading “with some commentary along the way,” he said. All Menno Simons Lectures are free and open to the public.

Gundy has been on the English faculty at Bluffton University since 1984 (before that, he taught four years at Hesston College).

He is the author of four books of nonfiction (essay and memoir), most recently Songs from an Empty Cage: Poetry, Mystery, Anabaptism and Peace (Cascadia, 2013), and four additional books of poetry.

Copies of Gundy’s recent books will be available for purchase after each lecture.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.