Montreal Zen Poetry Festival 2011
The biennial Montreal Zen Poetry Festival aims to explore the relationship between Zen Buddhism and the literary arts, including the work of both contemporary poets and translators of Chinese and Japanese verse. The focus of Zen Buddhism is an insight “beyond words,” cultivated within the stillness of seated meditation; yet, paradoxically, the ineffable silence of Zen comes to life only amidst language and dynamic activity. Thus, the spirit of Zen has exerted a profound influence on Chinese and Japanese poetics for a thousand years, in turn greatly shaping the contours of modern verse in the West.
The 2011 festival, March 10-13, with theme "silence always speaks" will host poets Jane Hirshfield, Robert Bringhurst, and Steve Sanfield; translators Kazuaki Tanahashi (also renowned calligrapher and Zen teacher)and Steven Heine; and ethnomusicologist Soko Paul Humphreys and Zen monk/scholar Victor Sogen Hori. A number of workshops and readings, panel discussion, evening of poem and music, and literary brunch are the line-up of events for this unique one-of-a-kind festival.