The Petals of a Kansas Sunflower

A Mennonite Diaspora

By Melvin D. Epp

The Petals of a Kansas Sunflower

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  • ISBN: 9781620320648
  • Pages: 490
  • Publication Date: 12/18/2012
  • Retail Price: $56.00
Web Price: $44.80
Web Price: $44.80
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eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781620320648
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 12/18/2012
  • Retail Price: $56.00
Web Price: $44.80
Web Price: $44.80
 

*All eBooks are non-returnable

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The Petals of a Kansas Sunflower

A Mennonite Diaspora

By Melvin D. Epp

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781620320648
  • Pages: 490
  • Publication Date: 12/18/2012
  • Retail Price: $56.00
Web Price: $44.80
ebook-logo

eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781620320648
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 12/18/2012
  • Retail Price: $56.00
Web Price: $44.80
Web Price: $44.80
 

*All eBooks are non-returnable

** Click here to review our ePub FAQ and policies.

About-

Rather than pledging allegiance to the military effort as dictated by Prussian law in 1867, many devout Anabaptists deemed it prudent to become pioneers in Kansas. The year was 1876 and odd numbered sections of railroad land were being marketed by the Santa Fe across Kansas. Towns developed around train depots; local shopping became available. Marie Harder Epp was born in America to these relocated Anabaptists. She was a Kansas Mennonite farmer and also the village poet. Her poems, written for oral delivery, tell the story of life in Holland and West Prussia following the Reformation, the relocation to Kansas, and the creation of a church community on the tall grass prairies. A church was organized to focus these hard-working Germans on divine realities as they buried their dead, married their young, and dealt with the harsh prairie winds. Marie's poems also describe the changeover from buggies to cars, from German to English, and from isolation to global outreach. With time, the Anabaptists learned through cultural adaptation that they could be both staunch Mennonites and also patriotic Americans.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Epp weaves a fascinating montage of stories, photos, and personal reminiscences that frame the collected poems of his mother, a remarkable and strong woman who, as a farm wife on the Kansas prairies, reared eight children and still found time to reflect on the rugged beauty and the people who surrounded her. Her poetry gives 'a face and a heart' to the times, the community, and the land both she and Melvin loved so evidently."
--John Yoder, Visiting Professor of Education and Leadership, Eastern Mennonite University

"Marie Harder Epp experienced almost all of the twentieth century from the same Kansas farmhouse where she was born. Her amazing bilingual poetry harnesses a strong, sturdy prairie voice that transports the reader into a female realm of family, farming, weddings, births, and funerals that marked the meaning of her days and of ours. Melvin Epp has translated and wrapped her poems in the context and relationships that illuminated her words and her rural world."
--Mark Jantzen, Professor of History, Bethel College

Contributors-

Melvin D. Epp

Bio(s)-

Melvin D. Epp is a Wheaton College graduate with an MS in botany from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in genetics from Cornell University. Following a corporate career in biological research, he retired to his ancestral farm near Whitewater, KS to write. Epp has completed an anthology of his mother's prairie folk poetry, which describes the history of the immigration of his West Prussian Anabaptist ancestors in 1876 and the community that his ancestors created in northwest Butler County, KS. Epp has used the collection of 106 poems by Marie Harder Epp to extract the history of Harder family from 1876 to 1995. This includes local reaction to the German language and conscription during the two world wars, as well as the development of a prairie farming community with a church, cemeteries, and schools. Epp is an avid gardener and has served since 2002 as the president of the Wichita Organic Garden Club. He has been named an Honorary Master Gardener of Sedgwick County. He has served on the Board of Directors of Kauffman Museum in North Newton. His current writing project is a genealogical review of his Epp ancestry.

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