It’s with great pleasure that I’m announcing the publication of my fifth collection of poetry, Ullambana in Portland. The work is available for purchase through the lulu website at this link, & will also be available at Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble online within the coming weeks. We’ll also work to get some local distribution here in Portland, Oregon, at least on a limited basis. News of such things typically can be found on my public Facebook page, The Poetry of Jack Hayes.
Ullambana in Portland includes all of the work I’ve done since moving to Portland, from the 2012 raintown series, continuing through the poems written under as “AK Barkley”, & finally the sutra poems & related pieces composed over the past two years. As the book came to be assembled, it was gratifying to realize how seamlessly the apparently disparate parts cohered.
Sheila Graham-Smith, who was instrumental in the book coming to be as reader, editor, fellow poet, & understanding friend, graciously provided me with the following short response to the collection to share in this post:
Ullambana in Portland is a play by play of dozens of walks through an urban landscape, reporting on things seen as through a magnifying glass, a telescope, binoculars, a camera lens and the very naked human eyes behind the narrating voice. In flashes of insight and meditative consideration we are given, not only the city of Portland, its avenues and bridges and waterways, its birds and trees and flowering plants, its skyscapes and buses and litter, but also the tireless perambulations of a questing heart.
I’m filled with the deepest gratitude to Sheila for all she’s provided to this work, & am so appreciative of her deep understanding of the poems.
Of course all of these poems are scattered hither & yon on Robert Frost’s Banjo. But as was especially the case with my book The Spring Ghazals & the intervening chapbook Union Pacific, this was put together as a “book” as opposed to a “collection”. Also, differing from my practice with past full-length books, there won’t be any blog that reproduces the “book order” of the poems.
Ullambana refers to the Buddhist “hungry ghost festival”. The book contains 60 poems—55 original works, four translations from classical Chinese poetry, & a translation from Apollinaire. There’s also my translation of the opening of the Ullambana Sutra, which is used to introduce one of the sections.
Thanks so much for your continuing interest in my poetry & in the Robert Frost’s Banjo blog.