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An anthology of poems that exemplify the human attempt to relate with the divine. Read more

Asheville, NC Poetry
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This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2012.

An anthology of poems that exemplify the human attempt to relate with the divine.

Asheville, NC Poetry
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About this project

My project, Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets, aims to highlight recent poets (alive in 1950 and after) whose work exemplifies the human attempt to relate with the divine, whether within, across, or outside of particular religious traditions. The anthology opens with my introductory essay on the devotional mode, paying special attention to the mode as practiced by the 17th-century English religious poets (the "Metaphysical" poets), who I believe are the primary model for most American poets writing in this mode today. The 78 poets I have included in the anthology demonstrate that the devotional mode is not a relic of a particular time period or cultural paradigm, however, but is rather a vital, living artistic mode. I chose to include poets who were alive in 1950 and afterward for this very purpose. From now-canonical voices like T. S. Eliot and Theodore Roethke which resound with authority, to the deep interiority of poets like Patrice de la Tour du Pin and R. S. Thomas; from the monastic perspectives of Madeline DeFrees and Thomas Merton, to worldly-wise voices like Denise Levertov and Mary Karr; from the thoughtful songwriters Leonard Cohen and Sufjan Stevens, to the dramatic monologues of Andrew Hudgins, Maurice Manning, and Ashley Anna McHugh; from Amit Majmudar’s mystical Islamic setting of Paradise Lost, to Bruce Beasley’s fragmented and searching self-portrait; from Jane Hirshfield’s intuition of an otherness, to the Orthodox meditations of Scott Cairns; from well-known figures like Czeslaw Milosz, Agha Shahid Ali, Louise Glück, Charles Wright, and Mark Jarman, to lesser-known, extraordinary poets like Judy Little, Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, Nicholas Samaras, Philip Metres, and Malachi Black--these poets testify to the ongoing importance of the devotional mode in poetry.

This anthology has been accepted for publication, but the burden of permissions fees for reprinting the poems included in the anthology falls on me personally. In order to realize my vision for what I truly believe will be a unique and extraordinary anthology--equally at home in your moments of quiet meditation, in the classroom, or in your religious institution's library--I need your help to pay for the permissions fees required by the copyright holders of many of these poems. I have often been able to negotiate reasonable fees, but even these have added up. And for certain other poems, the permissions fees charged by large publishing houses can be quite high, and they tend to be less open to negotiation. Also, quite a few of these poems are copyrighted by different entities in North America and the UK, so I have to pay twice for rights to reprint these poems.

I have had to make some tough decisions about how many poems or lines from poems to include by certain poets in order to keep the permissions fees within the realm of possibility, but now I believe I have a very powerful group of poems that form a coherent whole, and the lack of any would be felt. I think these poems have the potential to reignite interest in writing as a spiritual practice, to foster discussion on the ongoing vitality of the devotional mode, and above all to offer rich and enlightening experiences to the reader. Please help in any way you can. If you can't contribute money, please share this project with any person or group you know of who might be interested.

Much gratitude and many blessings,

Luke Hankins

www.lukehankins.net

*The project photo is a detail from a painting by G. Carol Bomer entitled "Thirsting," which she has graciously allowed me to use as the cover image for the anthology. http://www.carolbomer.com/

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    12 backers

    I will send you a signed copy of my own book of poems, Weak Devotions, inscribed to you or the person of your choice.

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    6 backers

    I will send you a signed copy of the anthology inscribed to you once it is published.

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    2 backers

    I will send you signed, inscribed copies of both my book of poems and the anthology, once it is published.

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    1 backer

    I will send you 3 copies of the anthology and 3 copies of my own book of poems, any of which signed and inscribed as you request. I will also include your name in the acknowledgments section of the anthology!

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    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    Not only will I send you 5 copies of the anthology and of my own book, signed and inscribed as you request, and include your name in the acknowledgments section of the anthology, but I will compose and mail you an ode in your honor! (Seriously.)

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Funding period

- (20 days)