Contributor Update: Christopher Burawa

Contributor Update: Christopher Burawa

Congratulations to past contributor Christopher Burawa who recently published Where I Came Here From.

Where I Came Here From is a collection of Zen Buddhist inspired poems that occasionally wander a path to the north-to Iceland, Christopher Burawa’s birthplace. The Iceland poems reflect, as Cynthia Hogue suggests, an “Icelandic Zen,” of the Self examining itself, unearthing what remains of his connections to the past and the trauma of separation, of being caught in the illusion of the fixated, isolated self. In these poems he follows the schematics of the skandhas and dependent origination, tracing the activity of mind and as the reborn self that arises from its dwelling.

The book has received significant praise:

Very few books of poetry move me the way Christopher Burawa’s Where I Came Here From has with its celebration of the imagination. The poems are like trapdoors, giving way to a world where you are both lost and found. Here, you find your way—through wit and earnestness, the playful and the profound—until “the cosmos breaks / open to let you through.”

–Blas Falconer

The perceptions inside Christopher Burawa’s collection invite you to track and take-in, live and breathe within some profound and defamiliarized spaces. These poems exist on a continuous and steep terrain, there to observe the rock’s jagged path, as well as the traveler’s clear-eyed navigation of an obscure map—and so these poems comfort you amidst all that’s unknowable; they ask you to gaze headlong while your hands pass uncut through a cold window, because, despite what you’ve understood before holding this book, “really, a river is a door, / until it opens.”

–Melissa Cundieff

“With deepest humility, a profound commitment to love, and reverence for truth, a book like Where I Came Here From appears. This does not happen frequently, this peeking into the ordinary with a view to what is there, not really there, but there in the sense of where we live. Burawa takes us beyond the illusion of thought and the firm conviction that some things hurt beyond what we think we can bear, and other things give us immeasurable joy, or hopefulness. We all should know what it takes to write a book of poems like this one. This is Zen.”

–Afaa Michael Weaver

Read more about Christopher’s book on the Finishing Line Press website.

Christopher Burawa is a poet, translator, high school language arts teacher, and ordained Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk. He received an MFA in poetry from Arizona State University. He has received numerous awards for his work, including an NEA Translation Fellowship, Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, an American-Scandinavian Foundation Creative Writing Research Fellowship, Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency, among others. He lives with his wife and daughter in Red Wing, Minnesota.

View Christopher Burawa’s’ poems in issue 10 and issue 23 of Superstition Review

Contributor Update: Cynthia Hogue

We are pleased to announce the ninth collection of poetry by SR Contributor Cynthia Hogue, titled In June The Labyrinth. The new collection was released in mid-april from Red Hen Press. From the publisher’s page:

In June the Labyrinth is a book-length serial poem that is part pilgrimage, part elegy, in which the main character, Elle, embarks on a quest of sorts, investigating not only the “labyrinth” as myth and symbol, but the “labyrinth of the broken heart.”

Find out more and purchase the book here. And you can read three poems by Cynthia Hogue in Issue 11 of Superstition Review. 

#ArtLitPhx: Cynthia Hogue and Jenny Irish Poetry Reading

9781597090377Irishc-250x386Cynthia Hogue, ASU’s Marshall Chair in Poetry, and Jenny Irish, Assistant Director of ASU’s Creative Writing Program, give a poetry reading at Changing Hands Bookstore at the Tempe location 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283 on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 at 7 p.m. Hogue will be reading from her ninth collection, In June the Labyrinth and Irish will be reading from her debut collection, Common Ancestor. For more information on this event, visit the Changing Hands Bookstore’s website. This event is free and open to the public.

Hogue’s In June the Labyrinth the main character of this postmodern fable, travels a trans-historical and trans-geographical terrain, on a quest of sorts, investigating not only the “labyrinth” as myth and symbol, but something akin to the “labyrinth of the broken heart.” The story is an earnest female pilgrim’s journey, full of disappointment but also hard-won wisdom and courage.

Hogue has been described in a New York Times micro-review as having a “knack for intensity.” She has published fourteen books, including nine collections of poetry, most recently Revenance, listed as one of the 2014 “Standout” books by the Academy of American Poets, and In June the Labyrinth (Red Hen Press, 2017). With Sylvain Gallais, Hogue co-translated Fortino Sámano (The overflowing of the poem), from the French of poet Virginie Lalucq and philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy (Omnidawn 2012), which won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2013. Hogue served as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Cornell University in the Spring of 2014. She was a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and holds the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University.

Irish lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she teaches creative writing and serves as the Assistant Director of the Creative Program at Arizona State University. In addition to her new collection of poetry, Irish’s fiction has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, Catapult, Colorado Review, Epoch, and The Georgia Review. Irish’s debut collection of prose poems, Common Ancestor, is an awe-inspiring read. From the confident power of its narratives to the hurricane-force language of its vision, this poetry is riveting. In two dramatic personae series of gorgeous, near-gothic detail, Irish looks at all the havoc humans wreak and does not blink. She scrutinizes violence with rare sang froid, and though never moralizing, leaves us in little doubt of the moral center of her universe: “Metal is not guilty for what it does in man’s hands, absent of soul,” as one poem puts it. In lines laced with brilliant figure and sly internal rhyme, Irish’s poetry is charged by truth’s searing song.

#ArtLitPhx: Ennis Committee of Phoenix Sister Cities Host Irish Book Festival

irishThe Irish Book festival hosted by the Ennis Committee of Phoenix Sister Cities is approaching on September 27th and will take place at the Irish Cultural Center. The featured poets/writers include Thomas Kinsella, David Baker, Sara Berkeley Tolchin, Cynthia Hogue, Dr. Adrienne Leavy, and Yvonne Watterson.

The fundraiser will take place the evening before at the Phoenix Country club. Festival tickets are $45 (including a light lunch) with a special student rate of $20 also available.

For more information, you can visit their website.

Ennis Sister City Committee to Host Irish Book Festival

The Ennis Committee of Phoenix Sister Cities will be hosting a Irish Book festival, with a focus in poetry, that will take place at the Irish Cultural Center on September 27th. In addition to the poets and speakers listed, a number of Irish publishers and independent bookshops are participating through their promotional materials, press releases etc., and they will be promoting the Yeats special issue of Poetry Ireland Review, which will be published in Ireland on September 12th. They will also be launching the third issue of the digital magazine,
Reading Ireland: The Little Magazine,
which will focus on Irish poetry, at the festival.

A fundraising event will take place the evening before at the Phoenix Country club with authors present.  The cost of the festival tickets are $45 which includes a light lunch, with a special student rate of $20 also available.

The featured Poets/Writers for include: David Baker, Sara Berkeley Tolchin, Cynthia Hogue,  Adrienne Leavy, Yvonne Watterson as well as Thomas Kinsella via documentary screening and lecture.

For more information regarding the book festival and/or the fundraising event, you can visit their website.

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