Poetry. In July, 2010, 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.
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.