The Essential Bashō

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Shambhala, 1999 - Philosophy - 184 pages
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The Essential Basho is the most complete single-volume collection of the writings of one of the great luminaries of Asian literature. Basho (1644-1694) - who elevated the haiku to an art form of utter simplicity and intense spiritual beauty - is best known in the West as the author of Narrow Road to the Interior, a travel diary of linked prose and haiku that recounts his journey through the far northern provinces of Japan.

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One of Japan's most famous poets, B asho (1644-94) spent much of his life writing as he traveled around Japan. Here Hamill, a poet and translator of Chinese, Japanese, Greek, and Latin, presents ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Sam Hamill was born in 1943 and at the age of 3, was adopted from foster care by a family from Utah. Early experiences with violence, theft, jail time, and boot camp were offset by his growing interest in poetry. He attended Los Angeles Valley College and the University of California in Santa Barbara. As a UCSB student, Hamill won a $500 award for producing the best university literary magazine in the country. With that money he left UCSB and co-founded the all-poetry Copper Canyon Press with Bill O'Daly and Tree Swenson. Hamill was editor-printer for the press from 1972 until 2004. He has written more than a dozen collections of poetry including Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995, Gratitude, Dumb Luck, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems and Translations, and Measured by Stone. He also published several collections of essays and numerous translations including A Poet's Work and Crossing the Yellow River: 300 Poems from the Chinese. He has taught in prisons, in artist-in-residency programs, and has worked extensively with battered woman and children. He has won two Washington Governor's Arts Awards, the Stanley Lindberg Lifetime Achievement Award for Editing, and the Washington Poets Association Lifetime Achievement Award for poetry.

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