Poetry. SLOWLY BECOMING AWAKE (N32) is a gorgeous book, beautifully printed & designed, presented in six colors. Lazer’s twenty-ninth book of poetry, and the sixth from his ongoing twelve-year Notebooks project, this is the first shape-writing book of his to include accompanying typed transcriptions. Readers have multiple ways to enter the meditative space of each poem/page. These poems can also be understood as scores for musical improvisations – thus far with a range of different instruments, including guitar, flute, percussion, soprano sax, cajón, theremin, and bass, as well as various multi-voice arrangements. Poem, visual art, improvised compositions, calligraphy, the unfolding of intervals of consciousness rolled into one. Dedicated to poet/Zen priest Norman Fischer, SLOWLY BECOMING AWAKE incorporates readings in the 13th century Soto Zen founder Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. The book takes us through Lazer’s serious illness (June-July 2016) through his recovery and into his increasing meditative writing time spent at a remote farm in rural Alabama.
Interview with Jake Marmer @ Tablet
Hank Lazer has published thirty-three books of poetry, including field recordings of mind in morning (2021, BlazeVOX - with 15 music-poetry tracks with Holland Hopson on banjo - available from Bandcamp), COVID 19 SUTRAS (2020, Lavender Ink), SLOWLY BECOMING AWAKE (N32) (2019, Dos Madres Press), POEMS THAT LOOK JUST LIKE POEMS (2019, PURH - one volume in English, one in French), Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27), (2018, Negative Capability Press), THINKING IN JEWISH (N20) (2017, Lavender Ink). Lazer has performed jazz-poetry improvisations in the US and Cuba with musicians Davey Williams, Omar Pérez, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Holland Hopson, and others. Lazer's Brush Mind books have been transformed into video installations and performances in several art gallery venues. In 2015, Lazer received Alabama's most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature. Lazer has been quarantining in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and at Duncan Farm in Carrollton, Alabama. Hank Lazer's website is: https://www.hanklazer.com