John Brehm, Andrea Hollander, Paulann Petersen: The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy
Tonight we are joined by three local poets -- John Brehm, Andrea Hollander, and Paulann Petersen -- reading from the newly published anthology The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy, edited by John Brehm and published by Wisdom Publications. The poems gathered in this anthology offer all that one might hope for in spiritual companionship: wisdom, compassion, peacefulness, good humor, and the ability to both absorb and express the deepest human emotions of grief and joy. The book also includes a short essay on "Mindful Reading" and a meditation on sound from Brehm, helping readers to approach the poems from an experiential, non-analytical perspective and enter into the mindful reading of poetry as a kind of meditation. The book includes more than one hundred ancient and modern poems and uniquely places Buddhist poets like Han Shan, Tu Fu, Saigyo, Ryokan, Basho, Issa, and others alongside modern Western poets one would not expect to find in such a collection -- poets such as Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, William Stafford, Denise Levertov, Jack Gilbert, Ellen Bass, Billy Collins, Paulann Petersen, Andrea Hollander, and more. What these poems have in common, no matter whether they are explicitly Buddhist, is that all reflect the essential truths the Buddha articulated 2,500 years ago.
John Brehm is the author of two award-winning books of poems, Help Is On the Way and Sea of Faith, and the associate editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, New Ohio Review, The Sun, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, The Writer’s Almanac, The Norton Introduction to Literature, Best American Poetry, and many other journals and anthologies. He lives in Portland and teaches for Literary Arts and Mountain Writers Series in Portland and for the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado.
Andrea Hollander is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Woman in the Painting; The Other Life; and House Without a Dreamer, which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, college textbooks, and literary journals. For twenty-two years she served as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College, where she was awarded the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Portland, where she teaches workshops at the Attic Institute and Mountain Writers Series.
Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita, has six full-length books of poetry -- most recently Understory from Lost Horse Press -- as well as several chapbooks Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry, The New Republic, Prairie Schooner, Willow Springs, Calyx, and the online Poetry Daily. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and the recipient of the 2006 Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts. In 2013 she received Willamette Writers’ Distinguished Northwest Writer Award.