Montreal Zen Poetry Festival, 3rd Edition

Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 17:07


The third Montreal Zen Poetry Festival, themed “silence always speaks” invites participants to come dwell in contradictions and paradoxes as renowned poets, translators and Zen monks discuss, debate and read from works that use language to go beyond words.

Award-winning poet and Zen teacher Jane Hirshfield (After; Given Sugar Given Salt) will lead a one day poetry workshop and will headline Saturday night's reading event, alongside acclaimed poet, translator and typographer Robert Bringhurst (past nominee for the Governor General’s Award and Griffin Poetry Prize). Christopher Patton, Zen practitioner and poet (Ox), will join us from Salt Spring Island, BC.

Kazuaki Tanahashi, translator of Zen Master Dōgen, master calligrapher, and Zen teacher, will present a calligraphy workshop, highlighting the play between word and image essential to Chinese and Japanese culture. Our Sunday brunch will feature a visual presentation and discussion by Tanahashi on the aesthetics and poetics of Ryōkan, one of the most famous Zen poet-calligraphers of Japan.

Zen poet and renowned storyteller Steve Sanfield will be harmonizing his verse with the concerto of composer Soko Paul Humphreys at Friday night's opening event. Sanfield will also speak of the poetry of 103-year-old Zen Master Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, his teacher of fifty years.

Bringhurst will join Victor Sōgen Hori, Zen monk and McGill University professor, and Steven Heine, major translator of Dōgen's poetry, to discuss the nature of poetic language within their respective domains. Heine will be presenting the Hsiang Lecture on Chinese Poetry at McGill University in collaboration with the Centre for East Asian Research, as one of the events of the festival, as well as speaking about Bob Dylan's lyrics and their connection to Zen understanding.

This one-of-a kind festival comes around only once every two years and is not to be missed.

Pre-Festival Event: March 04 – 06, 2011, Kaz Tanahashi calligraphy workshop
Festival: March 10 – 13, 2011
For full details of the Montreal Zen Poetry Festival (including venues and ticketing):
Contact: Talya Rubin, Enpuku-ji Zen Centre 514.842.3648