Talk delivered on February 15, 2020. Organized loosely around exploring the relationship between the Cascadian bioregion as it intersects with Zen ideas, practices, and aesthetics, Seattle University hosted a diverse group of writers interested in exploring the question of “What is Cascadian Zen?” through their poetic and/or philosophical writing.
A poem about gratitude and transformation by the 12th century Tamil woman, poet, and saint Avvaiyar. From her collection, “The Word that Endures.”
When doing good to a man, do not ask
If he’ll do good.
Tall-standing coconut palms,
Tireless and growing, take water at their roots
And return it, sweet, from above.
Translated from the Tamil by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
GIVE, EAT, AND LIFE: POEMS OF AVVAIYAR
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles
I’m deeply honored to help inaugurate Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets, a new event series sponsored by Town Hall and curated by Shin Yu Pai.
On January 30, 2020, I’ll be reading and speaking about poetry and wonder. Jali Ibrahim Arsalan will also perform West African kora music and the poet Melanie Noel will facilitate an on-stage conversation.
Kai Curry of the Northwest Asian Weekly recently featured the series in an article:
The Seattle Review of Books also featured the event on their website:
And Paul Nelson of Seattle Poetics LAB recently interviewed me and curator Shin Yu Pai. You can read the interview in the South Seattle Emerald:
You can watch a video of the interview here: