This is “mindful poetry” at its best.
— NAPRA ReView
… delightful demonstration of how Buddhist ideas are reshaping American poetry … challenges concepts of poetry, Buddhism, and even “book” …
— San Jose Mercury News
What Book!? is a landmark publication for both Buddhism and poetry, both actively available in the same gesture.
— The Midwest Book Review
The movement of Eastern religions to the West has been one of the most remarkable phenomena of the 20th century. Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing into the late 1990s, the influence of Buddhism (along with other Eastern religions) has been evident, perhaps most strongly in the arts and particularly strongly in contemporary poetry. Here is an enormous anthology of poetry celebrating that phenomenon. … Highly recommended.
— Library Journal
What Book!? is a koan in the form of a book waiting to be practiced.
— Steve Silberman, senior culture editor, HotWired; author, NeuroTribes
Surfing with the greatest pleasure through Gary Gach’s gathering, I find not only a first mapping of the Buddhist presence in our writing (Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike) but a needed picture of where poetry itself has gone during the period he covers. … Gach’s gift is vital for us all. — Jerome Rothenberg, author Poems for the Game of Silence, 1960-1970; Poland/1931; editor, Poems for the Millennium, Technicians of the Sacred, Exiled in the Word, Shaking the Pumpkin
… hits the spiritual nail right on the head …
— Sonoma County Independent
This is no book — more a block party, complete with street bands, strolling jugglers, food you can hold in your hand and eat while walking and watching Asian-born Buddhists, American Buddhists fellow-travelling Buddhists, honorary Buddhists, all sharing the good gossip of what can be found within practice-shaped words. Each poem is a firecracker, a small chili pepper explosion in mouth and mind and heart, an invitation to join in. Just bring your attention, your humor, your open and permeable life.
— Jane Hirshfield, author of Come, Thief; Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry; Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World; translator, The Ink-Dark Moon; editor, Women in Praise of the Sacred
What a book, What Book!? Truly is! Finally the humor, the quickness, the diversity, all the insistent, mundane, humanness get a place in this terrific colleciton of poems. God bless Gary Gach — and Buddha! — Robert Creeley, New York State Poet Laureate; author, Life & Death; If I Were Writing This; Just In Time; Collected Poems
I think of Buddhist poetry as honest, informal, friendly, fluid, and profound. What Book!? fills this bill nicely. — Norman Fischer, Co-Abbot, San Francisco Zen Center; founder, Everyday Zen Foundation; author, Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language, & Religion; Opening to You; What Is Zen?; Slowly But Dearly
.. an unpretentious, populist anthology that is inspiring to read, full of sweetness and light. — Inquiring Mind
Sprawling, yet luminously packed, THIS book convenes a vast sangha of poets that reveals on every ‘cloud page’ the radiant ways of Poetry and Dharma.— Walter K. Lew, author, Tradewinds; editor of Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry