Poetry Guides

Poetry Month 2022

Happy Poetry Month! From lyric to free verse, modern words to ancient translations, spiritual to artistic guidance—discover a new poem to love. Sign up below to receive a new poem delivered straight to your inbox each week of April. Featured Books
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Poetry Month 2021

Happy Poetry Month! From lyric to free verse, modern words to ancient translations, spiritual to artistic guidance—discover a new poem to love. Sign up below to receive a new poem delivered straight to your inbox each week of April. Email Address * First Name     *You are agreeing to receive promotional messages from Shambhala Publications. You may unsubscribe at any time. Featured Books
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Remembering Diane di Prima

“the only war that matters is the war against the imagination.” —Diane di Prima Onehandclapping, CC BY-SA 3.0 We just learned that Diane di Prima passed away on October 25th, 2020.  While we did not publish any of her extraordinary stand-alone works, she and her work appear in many Shambhala Publications books.  Though I had not been in touch in years, I knew Diane, especially after sitting next to her in some longer retreats with Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.  She had...
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Michael McClure

Photo credit: By Onehandclapping - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7751339 The great poet and Shambhala author/contributor/blurber Michael McClure passed away May 4th, 2020. Michael was at the heart of the Beats, always listed as one of the shining lights of this group of explorers and creatives. We published a book of his poetry, Touching the Edge: Dharma Devotions from the Hummingbird Sangha. His work appear in our Haiku Mind too. Here is a sketch of him from The Beat...
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The Legacy of Master Sheng Yen

Chan Master Sheng Yen (1930–2009) was a widely respected Taiwanese Chan (Chinese Zen) master who taught extensively in the West during the last thirty-one years of his life. He had numerous teaching centers throughout North America, as well throughout the world. He co-led retreats with the Dalai Lama, and he is the author of numerous books in Chinese and English, including Song of Mind, The Method of No-Method, and his autobiography, Footprints in the Snow. This reader’s guide offers a...
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Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan | An Excerpt from The Complete Cold Mountain

Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan The Universality of Hanshan’s Writing Though the poems in this collection were written more than twelve hundred years ago, poetry that expresses our common human experience with the unflinching wisdom and truth found in Hanshan’s writing has a way of collapsing time and distance, and even cultural differences, because it speaks from the deeply understood heart of life itself. Original Poems (Circa Late Sixth to Early Seventh Century) 15 A country person lives in a...
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Buddhist Poetry – A Reader Guide

Buddhist Poetry: A Reader Guide Navigating the vast world of spiritual verse can be disorienting. With so many anthologies and translations to choose from, finding what speaks to you can be a real challenge. Shambhala Publications publishes numerous books of Buddhist poetry, and we’ve gathered some of our favorites here. Ranging from classical Tibetan songs of devotion to contemporary American reflections on navigating the path, our collection of Buddhist poetry offers a little something for everyone, Buddhist or otherwise. Chan...
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Thomas Merton, “Honorary Beatnik”

Thomas Merton's Influence on the Beats by Robert Inchausti, author of Hard to Be a Saint in the City Thomas Merton, “Honorary Beatnik” It’s hard to say exactly when Thomas Merton became an “Honorary Beatnik.” One could chase the association all the way back to the mid-thirties when, as an undergraduate at Columbia, he first became friends with the hipster Seymour Freedgood, the bohemian poet Robert Lax, and the painter Ad Reinhardt. But it wasn’t until much later that Beat “icons” Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder all...
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Haiku: A Reader’s Guide

Also see our Reader's Guide to Buddhist Poetry. Many know haiku as a three-line poem, the first and last lines five syllables long, and the second line, seven. But there is much more to what defines haiku, elements more subtle than prescribed syllable counts or line breaks. In fact, Japanese haiku are typically written in a single column, and many haiku deviate from the syllable count familiar to so many of us. So, what then, makes a haiku a haiku?...
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The Art of Haiku

From the introduction to The Art of Haiku: Its History through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters This book will trace the history of Japanese haiku, including the poetic traditions from which it was born, primarily through the work of leading masters such as Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki, along with a number of other fine poets. Although they are less well-known, haiku cal­ligraphy and haiku-paintings (haiga) of the masters will also be illustrated and discussed as vital elements in the art...
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