Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form: Buddhism and American Poetry (9/15/09; NEMLA 4/7-11/2010, Montreal, Quebec)

full name / name of organization: 
Clare Emily Clifford / NeMLA: Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form: Buddhism and American Poetry
41st Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-11, 2010
Montreal, Quebec

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form: Buddhism and American Poetry

Although the Buddha's teachings have long influenced American literature over the last century, within the last twenty years we have seen the publication of three collections of poetry published featuring American Buddhist Poetry, with the most recent being The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry (2005). This panel seeks papers addressing American poets, poetry, and poetics intersecting with Buddhist philosophy and practice. Papers may address individual poets, Buddhist texts, or a combination of several texts, but all should present theoretical complexities based in a mindful reading of poems. Approaches and connections could include but are not limited to: what constitutes a "Buddhist poem"; how Buddhist philosophy and practice figure in the American poetic text; aspects of lineage, teachers, and gurus; representations of varying Buddhist schools and practices; poetry representing Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana traditions; visualizations and the language of imagery; the poetry of bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva path; sitting, walking, or writing meditation; contemplation of karma and samsara, interdependence and sunyata; "Western" Buddhism and the dispersal of the Dharma; esoteric philosophy and American Avant-Garde poetics; the role of form in Dharma poetry; interconnections between Buddhism and science; Buddhism, the environment, and American eco-spirituality; engaged Buddhism and nonviolent poetics; and the Buddhist protest poem.

Email submissions preferred; please send 250-500 word abstracts as MSWord attachments to Dr. Clare Emily Clifford no later than September 15, 2009 via ccliffor[AT]bsc[DOT]edu.

The 41st Annual Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention available at:

Dr. Clare Emily Clifford
Department of English
Birmingham Southern College