Jean Janzen was born on December 5, 1933, the seventh of Henry Peter Wiebe and Anna Schultz Wiebe's eventual eight children (Three Mennonite Poets 5). For the first five years of her life, Janzen lived in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan (A Cappella 25). In 1938, she moved to Mountain Lake, Minnesota when her schoolteacher father began his second ministry as a pastor (“Coming into Voice”). A year later, the family moved to Kansas (“Coming into Voice”).
Janzen says she cannot remember when she wrote her first poem, but the first evidence of her work is a handwritten book of five poems that she made in third or fourth grade, which was saved by her mother through the family’s many moves (E-mail Interview). She had very little exposure to po… Go to person page >