The Festival

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artwork by Koren Charla Malamed

The Buddhist Poetry Festival

Throughout the ages, practitioners have explored the elasticity of language to express  understanding of dharma, proximity to the present, realization of impermanence, and encounters with the mind, just to name a few. The Buddhist Poetry Festival was created in celebration of this impulse to creatively share those personal experiences that seem to touch upon the universal.

The Festival is designed for anyone who resonates with Buddhist teachings, regardless of their own level of engagement with any particular tradition. In addition to a full schedule of activities, there will also be unstructured points in the weekend, providing more time to reflect on the work we’re encountering, our own writings, or to engage more with our fellow writers and lovers of poetry.

We are honored to feature some of our time’s most celebrated voices in the conversation between Buddhist practice and creative writing. Over the course of the weekend, we’ll hear them read their own work; share their thoughts on writing as a spiritual practice and form of engagement; and work on our writing with their direction and guidance in several illuminating workshops. Additionally, we’ll consider the vast cultural wealth that Buddhist poets inherit today by considering the legacy of ancient hermit-practitioners who often worked in obscurity, not knowing that their musings would be savored all these centuries later.

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Zen Mountain Monastery

Located on 200+ acres in the Catskill Mountains, Zen Mountain Monastery will serve as the backdrop for this one-of-a-kind weekend. In addition to its role as one of the foremost Zen training centers in the West, The Monastery has played host to dozens of world-class writers and artists over its nearly 40-year history. The Monastery integrates Buddhist practice and the path of creativity through retreats and ongoing programs throughout the year.