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Kent Johnson is a member of the faculty of Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois, where he teaches English and Spanish. His writing has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Grand Street, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Sulfur. He is editor of Third Wave: The New Russian Poetry. Craig Paulenich is an Assistant Professor of English and Writing Coordinator at Kent State University, Salem Campus. He was the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award at the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. His poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, Kansas Review, South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, and Windhorse.
This ambitious anthology includes poems and essays by 45 contemporary American poets who are practicing Buddhists. They represent a refreshingly wide range of poetic styles, from the looseness of John Cage and Allen Ginsberg to the more formal verse of Jane Hirschfield and Olga Broumas. The book also offers the reader an introduction to the diversity of American Buddhism. The poetry is uneven in quality; from the impenetrable (``of tea/how a fox/ under/ jagged rocks/ this shirt/but not an/ empty sack'') to the more accessible (``I rub the dark hollow of the bowl/ with garlic, near to the fire enough/so that fire reflects on the wood,/a reverie that holds emptiness/ in high regard.'' An introduction by Gary Snyder is included. For Buddhist studies as well as contemporary poetry collections.-- Kathleen Norris, formerly with Lemmon P.L., S.D.
"This intelligent anthology provides compelling evidence of a continuing preoccupation in American thought, from Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman to the poets here represented. It is the human search for locating home, transcendent yet literal, always here even if nowhere. The complexly common voices of these writers are an insistent call to our own need, to let go of our 'lives' and so live them."--Robert Creeley