reviews

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    Books in Brief Paid Member

    Outrider Anne Waldman La Alameda Press, 2006 178 pp.; $18.00 (paper) "Outrider is a line of demarcation. It's words-obsession for the honor, dignity of a mind ill at ease, restless, jumping from desk to orally standing-at-attention, examining itself. A maker of poetry." This is Anne Waldman's first of many descriptions of the poetic Outrider tradition celebrated in this collection of poems, essays, and interviews. Outrider is a term she adopted in 1974 to capture the spirit of the poetry program she founded with Allen Ginsberg at Naropa University; for Waldman, Outrider is a lineage that extends back to Walt Whitman and includes all of those American poets who resisted the trends of the day in search of something new. More »
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    REVIEWS: Prelude to a Poem Paid Member

    TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago, while explaining his method of spontaneous composition, Allen Ginsberg stated that “it [was] possible to get in a state of inspiration while improvising.” He often improvised during poetry readings, using an already published poem such as “America” as the framework for lengthy new improvisations, similar to the way jazz musicians used a song as the framework for extended solos. More »
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    REVIEWS: So You Think You're a Buddhist Paid Member

    WHAT QUALIFIES SOMEONE to identify himself or herself as a Buddhist? Often this very question seems presumptuous and circular. Claiming Buddhism as our own appears almost self-defeating, or at least tricky. It inevitably preys on our tendency toward egocentric pride. “I am a Buddhist!” Well, isn’t that wonderful for you! But what does that statement actually mean? More »
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    REVIEWS: La-La Dharma Paid Member

    ANYONE DOUBTING that Buddhism has become mainstream in America - or at least on our coasts - need only read the recent novels of author, screenwriter, and director Bruce Wagner. Take, for instance, his description of the guests at an imagined celebrity get-together in Brentwood, as recounted in his newest novel, Memorial: “the screenwriter Melissa Mathison, the architect Steven Ehrlich, the gardener Nancy Jones, the actress Phoebe Cates, the editor of Tricycle, the editor of the Jewish magazine Tikkun...” Wagner has to explain Tikkun to his readers, but Tricycle apparently needs no introduction. More »
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    Books in Brief Paid Member

    OUTRIDER,by Anne Waldman; CHöD IN THE GANDEN TRADITION, by Kyabje Zong Rinpoche; TIBETAN SOUND HEALING, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche; HAKUIN ON KENSHO: THE FOUR WAYS OF KNOWING,Albert Low, ed.; AWAKE IN THE WILD: MINDFULNESS IN NATURE AS A PATH OF SELF-DISCOVERY, by Mark Coleman; More »
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    REVIEWS: The Shadow Knows Paid Member

    BY THE LATE 1970S, Akira Kurosawa, the aging lion of Japanese cinema, was having trouble getting financing. Despite his international stature as the auteur of Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and some two dozen other remarkable films, Toho Studios was dragging its feet in backing his ambitious new project. But two of his biggest fans, George Lucas (whose Star Wars films owed so much to the samurai tradition) and Francis Coppola, rode to the rescue with a bag of money from 20th Century Fox, and the result was Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior. More »