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“East of Liberal: Notes on the Land—Exploring the Myths, Contradictions and Resilience” – Raylene Hinz-Penner, author
February 26 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Discussing the recently published memoir she describes as a personal land acknowledgement, Raylene Hinz-Penner will talk about the central tension of the book, reconciling her idyllic childhood on Dust Bowl land in southwest Kansas with the thorny issues of settler accountability, the knowledge that the land on which her family thrived in the 1950’s and 60’s was once homeland to peoples who were forcibly removed from the land.
About Raylene Hinz-Penner
After retiring from a career of teaching Contemporary American Literature and Creative Writing at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas and Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, Hinz-Penner has been writing about place–the land and its peoples, its history and geography. Her first book, Searching for Sacred Ground: The Journey of Chief Lawrence Hart, Mennonite was published in 2007. East of Liberal: Notes on the Land, a “land acknowledgement” about the southwest Kansas Dust Bowl land where she grew up, was published in December 2022. Field Notes on the Levee, a manuscript of poems and field sketches about the Topeka site where she lived for 20 years includes the forced Potawatomi march to Kansas and their early life on the land where Hinz-Penner lived in southwest Topeka. Now living in North Newton, she is an active member of Bethel College Mennonite Church, maintaining wider fellowship status with Southern Hills Mennonite in Topeka.