Tinfish SPIRIT Collection

Tinfish SPIRIT Collection
$30 (retail $50)


Escape the Crazy Life of Tears

By Norman Fischer • 2014

In July, 2010, poet and Zen priest Norman Fischer travelled to Kyoto to visit temples and meet with fellow practitioners. A Crazy Life of Tears is a poetic journal of that trip. Fischer’s poetry examines what it means to sit at the nexus of the past, present and future and links questions of being with vivid details of daily life. (It’s also sometimes very funny.) Fischer seeks to find a balance between past traditions (from the east) and new understandings (in the west). Escape This Crazy Life of Tears stages a beautiful dialogue between inner thoughts and outward experiences that carefully observes the self, and opens an imaginative space in which to examine it.

A Zen Buddhist priest, abbot, and teacher, and author of many collections of poetry, Norman Fischer received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area writing community since the 1970’s, loosely associated with the Language Movement. His latest prose work is Training in Compassion. Forthcoming from University of Alabama Press is his Experience: Essays on Thinking, Writing, Language and Religion.

Jammed Transmission

by Paul Naylor • 2009

With this volume, Tinfish Press moves from its usual concentration on the Pacific as a cultural and historical space to that of a spiritual trans-historical one. In his preface to the book, Zen priest Norman Fischer writes: “Jammed Transmission is a poetic encounter with a 14th century text of Japanese Soto Zen, Keizan Jokin’s Denkoroku (usually translated as Record of the Transmission of the Light), a spiritual genealogy of the Soto lineage, beginning with the Buddha and ending with Koun Ejo, Keizan’s immediate predecessor in the lineage, fifty-two generations later.”

Jammed Transmission is Paul Naylor’s third full-length book of poetry, following Playing Well With Others (2004) and Arranging Nature (2006). He is also the author of Poetic Investigations: Singing the Holes in History (1999), a study of five contemporary poets, including Susan Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Lyn Hejinian and Kamau Brathwaite. A recovering academic, Naylor lives in San Diego, where he directs Singing Horse Press.

Diamond Head

By Hank Lazer • 2016

Hank Lazer has been traveling to O’ahu for over 30 years to visit his mother; during his stays on the island, he has kept to his writing and Buddhist practice. These four deceptively simple poems, moving down the page in narrow threads, respond to his mother’s loss of sight, his own acts of attention to Kapiolani Park, to memory and immediacy both.

Hank Lazer has published twenty-four books of poetry, including Poems Hidden in Plain View (2016, in English and in French), Brush Mind: At Hand (2016), N24 (2014) and N18 (2012), Portions (2009), The New Spirit<,i> (2005), Elegies & Vacations (2004), and Days (2002). Lazer’s Selected Poems have been published in Italy and in China and will be appearing shortly in Cuba. In 2015, Lazer was selected to receive Alabama’s most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature. His books of criticism include Opposing Poetries (two volumes, 1996) and Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008 (2008). Lazer’s mother lives in Honolulu, and since 1984 he has been a frequent visitor to Oahu.

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