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Poetry and Meditation


Joe Ross is the author of over fourteen books of poetry, with History And Its Making, PURH (2017) the most recent. Others include : 1000 Folds, Chax Press (2014), Wordlick, Green Integer Press (2011) and Strata, Dusie Press (2008). Former Literary Editor of the arts bi-monthly The Washington Review from 1991-1997, and co-founder of both the In Your Ear reading series in Washington, D. C. and the Beyond the Page reading series in San Diego, CA, he received a NEA award for his poetry in 1997 and is the three time winner of the Gertrude Stein Poetry Award. He presently resides in Paris.

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Poetry opens and holds space ; meditation opens and is space held.

To me it seems unnecessary to make any distinction ; and distinction calls reductionism into being – if allowed, this reduction results in and produces separation ; which gives rise to confusion. Poetry offers a space of clarity.

Poetry heals linguistic and existential divides through its living energy force which in being enacts simultaneously each side of the gap while creating a vital third space from which each side can be experienced individually and too, in non-separated unification. Separate and not separate simultaneously. Poetry offers freedom.

To me, the most challenging part of writing is in getting out of the way ! This is where meditative practices help by emptying and calming the mind first.

What do I write when I am not there ?

That’s poetry !

De-Flections, Potes & Poets Press, 1994 : extraits et History in the Making. The Making of History / L’Histoire comment. Comment l’histoire : extraits

Pour citer l'article:

Joe ROSS, « Poetry and Meditation » in Poésie moderne et méditations, Actes des journées d’étude organisées à l’Université de Rouen les 21 mars 2017 et 19 mars 2018, publiés par Christophe Lamiot (ÉRIAC) et Thierry Roger (CÉRÉdI).
(c) Publications numériques du CÉRÉdI, "Actes de colloques et journées d'étude (ISSN 1775-4054)", n° 21, 2018.


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