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Poetry + Spirituality: On The Lotus Sutra with Donald Lopez, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, & Thomas Fink
Nov 12, 2020 | 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Lotus Sutra, the last sermon of the Shakyamuni Buddha, remains one of the most influential sutras in Buddhist literature. Scholar, and educator Donald S. Lopez Jr., author of the first comprehensive history of the Lotus Sutra in English, will lead a panel discussion on poetry and spirituality, with poets Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and Thomas Fink, delving into the poetics of sacred texts.
Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author, translator, and editor of numerous works in the field of Buddhist Studies, on topics ranging from Buddhist philosophy to Buddhism and Science. He has also written extensively on the European encounter with Buddhism. Among anthologies, he is the editor of the Buddhism volume of the Norton Anthology of World Religions and Buddhist Scriptures for Penguin Classics. His recent books include Dispelling the Darkness: A Jesuit’s Quest for the Soul of Tibet (with Thupten Jinpa), Gendun Chopel: Tibet’s Modern Visionary, and Two Buddhas Seated Side by Side: A Guide to the Lotus Sutra (with Jacqueline Stone). In 2008, he was the first scholar of Buddhism to deliver the Terry Lectures at Yale. In 2014, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (edited with Robert Buswell) was awarded the Dartmouth Medal for best reference work of the year. In 2000, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs is the author of two chapbooks, Notes from a Missing Person (Essay Press, 2015) and Necro Citizens (German/English edition, hochroth Verlag, 2019), and two poetry collections, Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press Poetry Prize, 2007) and Interrogation Room (White Pine Press, 2018) mentioned in The New York Times and praised by World Literature Today for “a vigorous restlessness.” Kwon Dobbs, who has received, most recently, the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award for poetry, a Jerome Hill Artists Fellowship and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, has also published work in Crazyhorse, jubilat, The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Poetry International, and elsewhere. Poetry editor at AGNI, she is associate professor of creative writing at St. Olaf College and a guest lecturer at Universität Bielefeld.
Thomas Fink has published 11 books of poetry—most recently A Pageant for Every Addiction (Marsh Hawk Press, 2020), written collaboratively with Maya D. Mason, Hedge Fund Certainty (Meritage Press and i.e. Press, 2019) and Selected Poems & Poetic Series (Marsh Hawk Press, 2016)—as well as two books of criticism, including “A Different Sense of Power”: Problems of Community in Late Twentieth-Century U.S. Poetry (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2001) and three edited anthologies, including Reading the Difficulties: Dialogues with Contemporary American Innovative Poetry (U of Alabama Press, 2014). His work appeared in Best American Poetry 2007, edited by David Lehman and Heather McHugh. His paintings hang in various collections. Fink is Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia.