by Brian Glaser
Contradictions begins with a commitment to the local environment as an imaginative habitat, then explores traditions of art-making and spiritual belief, and then turns to the living tradition of Taoism as a source of wisdom. History—familial, social, and cultural—is present at moments in the book, providing contexts in which spiritual and political questions interanimate and converge.
POETRY / General
ISBN: 978-1-951651-54-1 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released October 2020
Brian Glaser was born in Detroit, Michigan, the eldest of two children of Jack Glaser, a theologian, and Mary Ellen Glaser, an educator and social worker. He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2003, he married dancer and choreographer Melanie Ríos, with whom he has two children, Andoe and John. In 2005, he joined the faculty at Chapman University, where he currently teaches in the department of English. His previous poetry collection, All the Hills, was published by Shanti Arts Publishing in 2019.
“Contradictions invites us to take part in a sensuous journey of discovery. Precise observations of the ordinary lead us into thoughtful meditations on art, religion, nature, joy, justice, violence, and ‘the human project of morality.’ The ease with which this book connects the keen experience of physical reality with the diversity of philosophical issues is awe-inspiring. One can only congratulate Brian Glaser on his achievement of keeping ‘the embers of the sacred flame of poetry alive.’”
“Brian Glaser is a spiritual seeker, which involves continually testing wisdom from several spiritual traditions. But the major emphasis is on an effort to produce as absolute a clarity as possible about elemental features of his life—natural, personal, familial, social, and political. Innocence becomes as fundamental as air; desire as fundamental as water. So poetry itself has to renounce metaphor and elaborate form in order to hew as closely as possible to honest renderings of surprising moments where the shadows lift and the mind responds to something worth enduring. These moments seem utterly bare. The poetry resides in the resonance of what comes to matter as it just comes into language, often weaving sites of contradiction that also serve as means of recognizing how intractably solitude, social pressure, and familial ties serve to foster one another. Poetry becomes a process of imagination ceaselessly adjusting to shifts in possibilities of responsiveness. And the moral life becomes inseparable from fostering careful attention to what creates and binds our passions.”
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