Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review: The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry

Tom Morgan, over at In the Becoming Undone, takes a look at a new anthology of Buddhist Poetry, The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry.

If there is anyone out there looking to make connections between the increasingly popular world of American Buddhism and meditation and contemporary poetry, Andrew Schelling's The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry provides a one-stop shop for all things Buddhist and poetic. Published in 2005, it is an extremely handsome volume with attractive, glossy cover, leaf flaps, excellent paper, readable font, ample margins, outstanding layout, and informative notes on each poet that make for a very enjoyable read and a beautiful reference. The anthology covers both what we might call the New American and more mainstream poetry. Included are, of course, the obvious heavy weights: Gary Snyder, Jane Hirshfield, and Philip Whalen (the only non-living poet included in the volume). Experimental writers such as Leslie Scalapino, Norman Fischer, and Will Alexander are set in alongside other writers more known for their prose then poetry, such as Eliot Weinberger and Dale Pendell. Ecologically inclined poets, including Arthur Sze and Cecilia Vicuna, are also given ample space. And, in what is without a doubt my favorite part of this volume, Schelling's introduction tracks the various attempts — formal and otherwise — of reconciling Buddhist practice and poetic practice in a way that is both academic and useful to the lay person. This essay alone is worth the $22.00 sticker price.

Read the rest of his post.

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