Poetry. Translation. "Norman Fisher has created, for the time being, the perfect introduction to Leslie Scalapino's poetics. MAGNOLIAS ALL AT ONCE offers a set of commentaries on Dogen, the astounding medieval Japanese Zen writer, by the mind-bending contemporary American poet Leslie Scalapino. Or, to put it the other way around: in this set of uncannily paired texts, Scalapino provides a step-by-step guide to reading Dogen. Fischer has written new and provocative translations of Dogen that, against all logic, put the Zen master at the center of modernist and contemporary radical poetics. Magnolias concludes with Fischer's illuminating, essential essay/interview on Scalapino's work. In this work of collaboration and elegy, Fischer adeptly generates conceptual bumps and gaps, crackling flashes that make momentarily perceptible the disappearing vistas of time's viscous inebriations."—Charles Bernstein
Norman Fischer has published twenty-one books of poetry and six books on Buddhism. His poetry has been anthologized in The Wisdom Anthology of North American Poetry, Basta Azzez enough, What Book? and many literary magazines. He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop and a Masters in Buddhism from the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a Zen Buddhist priest for more than 40 years, serving as co- abbot for the San Francisco Zen Center from 1995-2000. Founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation, he is one of the most highly respected Zen teachers in America, regularly leading Zen Buddhist retreats and events around the world. His essays have appeared in such notable collections as Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture (University of Alabama Press, 2010) and are frequently included in Best Buddhist Writing (Shambhala). His collections of essays on writing, Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language and Religion (University of Alabama Press) and on Buddhism, When You Greet Me I Bow (Shambhala) are widely read, as is his translation of the Hebrew psalms, Opening to You.