You lie awake, needlessly fingering this patchwork guilt.
Remorse, a code you live by; distress calls for someone to blame. —from “Threads”
Following the deaths of her Mennonite grandparents, Angeline Schellenberg began exploring their influence on her life. Her elegiac love letter to them articulates her grief against the backdrop of their involuntary emigration. She artfully captures the immigrant identity, vital to Canadian culture, in poems that draw on events both personal and global: war and famine, dementia and cancer, hidden sacrifice and secrets. Her poems captivate with themes of ancestry, memory, resilience, and forgiveness. Fields of Light and Stone is a reflection on how family history shapes and moves us.
About the author
Angeline Schellenberg's poetry has appeared in Prairie Fire, CV2, TNQ, Rhubarb, Room, Geez, Wordgathering, Lemon Hound, and The Society, as well as in anthologies. Her first chapbook, Roads of Stone (The Alfred Gustav Press), was released in May 2015. Her poetry won third prize in the 2014 Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award Contest and was shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine's 2015 Poem of the Year. Angeline lives in Winnipeg with her husband, their two teenagers, and a German shepherd/corgi.
- Short-listed, Kobzar Book Award
# 1 on Edmonton Poetry Bestsellers list, February 14, 2021
"Fields of Light and Stone excavates the relationships between Schellenberg’s Mennonite grandparents….The book moves among various styles and source materials as through sheaves of distinct documents…” [Full article at https://canlit.ca/article/sinews-and-sheaves/]
"Schellenberg’s collection is a love letter to these four people [grandparents] whose lives were so completely intertwined with hers." Kyla Neufeld, Prairie Books Now, Spring/Summer 2020 [Full article at https://prairiebooksnow.ca/articles/view/poet-reflects-on-her-grandparents-lives-through-poetry-and-collected-letters-artifacts]
"While most of the book’s poems are based on personal connections Schellenberg built with her grandparents over the years, she also explores topics of their ancestry, immigration, and courtship.... Some of the poems touch on the poignant theme of loss..." [Full review at https://nivervillecitizen.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/former-nivervillians-second-book-reflects-on-grandparents]
“Schellenberg’s Fields of Light and Stone enacts the terms of her title with its tender and exacting invocations of familial love…. [O]ne of the delicate strengths of Schellenberg’s poems of mourning is their fresh grief at old losses…. Fields of Light and Stone has a light touch that never confuses love for denial of death, and Angeline Schellenberg finds painful beauty in the imperfections of mourning.”
Tanis MacDonald, Journal of Mennonite Studies, 2021
“Schellenberg’s best poems don’t offer easy answers, and do a good job of letting the question lie.”
“I was immediately attracted to its contents because of the illustration on the jacket (Last Embrace by Miriam Rudolph)…. Between the covers are poems that sing of love and loss…. Schellenberg’s playful use of words is evident throughout…. This book will resonate with those writing memoirs or translating old letters and will perhaps inspire others to do so. Not that long ago, I sat with the boxes of correspondence my parents had left behind after they passed away. Many of the thoughts Schellenberg expresses in her creative, poetic style went through my mind at that time and they linger still. She has left a tribute to her grandparents that will stand the test of time.”
Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder, Mennonite History, December 2020