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A prolific writer, famous pacifist, respected teacher, and literary mentor to many, William Stafford is one of the great American poets of the 20th century. His first major collection--Traveling through the Dark--won the National Book Award. William Stafford published more than sixty-five volumes of poetry and prose and was Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress--a position now know as the Poet Laureate. Before William Stafford's death in 1993, he gave his son Kim the greatest gift and challenge: to be his literary executor. In Early Morning, Kim creates an intimate portrait of a father and son who shared many passions: archery, photography, carpentry, and finally, writing itself. But Kim also confronts the great paradox at the center of William Stafford's life. The public man, the poet who was always communicating with warmth and feeling--even with strangers--was capable of profound, and often painful silence within the family. By piecing together a collage of his personal and family memories, and sifting through thousands of pages, of his father's daily writing and poems, Kim illuminates a fascinating and richly lived life.
Bring Me the Rhinoceros is an unusual guide to happiness and a can opener for your thinking. For fifteen hundred years, Zen koans have been passed down through generations of masters, usually in private encounters between teacher and student. This book deftly retells more than a dozen traditional koans, which are partly paradoxical questions dangerous to your beliefs and partly treasure boxes of ancient wisdom. Koans show that you don’t have to impress people or change into an improved, more polished version of yourself. Instead you can find happiness by unbuilding, unmaking, throwing overboard, and generally subverting unhappiness. John Tarrant brings the heart of the koan tradition out into the open, reminding us that the old wisdom remains as vital as ever, a deep resource available to anyone in any place or time.
Selections from Trinity University Press's best books of 2014. Includes excerpts from Maximilian and Carlota: Europe's Last Empire in Mexico by M. M. McAllen, The Osage Orange Tree by William Stafford and Dennis Cunningham, Early Morning by Kim Stafford, Outside by Barry Lopez and Barry Moser, Unchopping a Tree by W. S. Merwin and Liz Ward, Writing Architecture by Carter Wiseman, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness by Rebecca Solnit, A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic by Peter Turchi, and Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places by Julia Martin and Gary Snyder.
Loved for his decidedly American voice, for his painterly rendering of modern urban settings, and for his ability to re-imagine a living language shaped by the philosophy of “no ideas but in things,” William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) left an indelible mark on modern poetry. As each successive generation of poets discovers the “new” that lives within his work, his durability and expansiveness make him an influential poet for the twenty-first century as well. The one hundred and two poems by one hundred and two poets collected in Visiting Dr. Williams demonstrate the range of his influence in ways that permanently echo and amplify the transcendent music of his language. Contributors include: Robert Creeley, David Wojahn, Maxine Kumin, James Laughlin, A. R. Ammons, Wendell Berry, Heid Erdrich, Frank O’Hara, Lyn Lifshin, Denise Levertov, Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, and a host of others.
Born the year World War I began, acclaimed poet William Stafford (1914-1993) spent World War II in a camp for conscientious objectors. Throughout a century of conflict he remained convinced that wars simply don’t work. In his writings, Stafford showed it is possible--and crucial--to think independently when fanatics act, and to speak for reconciliation when nations take sides. He believed it was a failure of imagination to only see two options: to fight or to run away. This book gathers the evidence of a lifetime’s commitment to nonviolence, including an account of Stafford’s near-hanging at the hands of American patriots. In excerpts from his daily journal from 1951-1991, Stafford uses questions, alternative views of history, lyric invitations, and direct assessments of our political habits to suggest another way than war. Many of these statements are published here for the first time, together with a generous selection of Stafford’s pacifist poems and interviews from elusive sources. Stafford provides an alternative approach to a nation’s military habit, our current administration’s aggressive instincts, and our legacy of armed ventures in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and beyond.
It was Benjamin Franklin who came up with the list – temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, humility. Writer and visual artist Teresa Jordan wondered if Franklin’s perhaps antiquated notions of virtue might offer guidance to a nation increasingly divided by angry righteousness. She decided to try to live his list for a year, focusing on each virtue for a week at a time and taking weekends off to attend to the seven deadly sins. The journal she kept became this collection of beautifully illustrated essays, weaving personal anecdotes with the views of theologians, philosophers, ethicists, evolutionary biologists, and a whole range of scholars and scientists within the emerging field of consciousness studies. Though she claims to never have aspired to moral perfection, she was still surprised, as was Benjamin Franklin before her, “to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined.” Teresa Jordan offers a wry and intimate journey into a year in midlife devoted to the challenge of trying to live authentically. Through her explorations, we come to understand the ethics of time, the importance

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