A Larger Yes: Poetry As A Vessel of Discovery, Mindfulness, Expansion and Engagement

“A tree lives on its roots. If you change the root, you change the tree. Culture lives in human beings. If you change the human heart the culture will follow.” — Jane Hirshfield

Engaging the Senses Foundation is honored, thrilled, and full of anticipation as we prepare to to present, “A Larger Yes: Poetry As A Vessel of Discovery, Mindfulness, Expansion and Engagement,” a reading by poet Jane Hirshfield hosted in partnership with the Kauai Writer’s Conference on Saturday, November 9, 2019, 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Kauai Marriott Resort Hotel’s Luau Grounds.

Jane  is the author of nine poetry books, including Ledger, which will appear from Knopf in early 2020; The Beauty (Knopf, 2015); Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011); and Given Sugar, Given Salt (HarperCollins, 2001). She is also the author of two essay collections investigating the deep structures by which poetry embodies and broadens the experienced world, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (HarperCollins, 1997)and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015). Hirshfield has also published two important anthologies of poetry by women. In the late 1980s she began collecting sacred verse by women after the poet and translator Stephen Mitchell asked for her help in compiling his anthology of sacred verse. The result of Hirshfield’s research, Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, spans the centuries from 2300 B.C. to the early 1900s and includes the work of seventy poets from many cultures, spiritual traditions, and social classes.

Her honors include membership in the Academy of Arts & Sciences, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Academy of American Poets; the California Book Award and Poetry Center Book Award; and best book of the year selections from The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and England’s Financial Times. A former chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, Hirshfield’s poems appear in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, Poetry, and ten volumes of The Best American Poetry. 

According to the Academy of Arts & Sciences,, “Hirshfield’s work addresses essential elements of human experience: desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connections with one another and the recognition that our existence is not separate from other beings amid the human and natural world.” The New York Times characterizes her poetry as “radiant and passionate,” The Kenyon Review has written that, “this is what Hirshfield’s books do, time and again: they waken us through their travels in the elemental; or rather, they waken us to the ways the elemental travels through us.” The Washington Post has praised her verse as involving, “a deepening attention to every aspect of human experience, from the dailiness of our lives to the most ineffable moments. ” and Rosanna Warren calls her work, “a sensuously philosophical art.”

During the session, Jane will explore both her own poems and writing practice and the larger ways poems can serve our current age and lives: as an invitation to go beyond impasse into more tender, more supple ways of seeing, thinking and feeling. More than ever, poetry can serve as testimony, witness and reminder of our embodied interconnection and birth-right compassion, as Jane’s work exemplifies.

This ticketed event includes lunch and reading, and is open to the public. It will be filmed and featured in future productions and educational programs. Please register in advance at: www.kauaiwritersconference.com.

You’ll be in the presence of a modern master in one of the world’s most beautiful and sacred settings. Please join us if you can!