Some of my favourite places on the web these days are sites where I can read poetry and literature, share poetry, and find mindfulness. I’d like to share some of these so that others can enjoy them too.
One Stop Poetry is a meeting place for poets and a giant roving poetry community. My favourite time to drop in is during One Shot Wednesday, where poets can post a link to one of their poems and then browse the poems that other poets have posted. I find the same thing happens as when people go on a trip: they keep running into certain other travellers over and over; after a while, they’re waving at each other and commiserating about the shared journey. In this case, it’s a poetry trip. Update: Please note that One Stop Poetry has closed its doors, though the website is still there. The people behind it now run the dVerse Poets Pub, and you’re welcome to take part in open link night, Tuesdays from 3 p.m. EST.
Thursday Poets Rally is another such place on the web, with a huge and dedicated community. It works the same way as One Stop Poetry, but with a twist: you can post your link, but in doing so, you agree to visit a specific number of other poets’ blogs during the week, and to comment and be supportive of each other. The group of people behind this are big on helping out new and budding poets, and they do a great job.
I find some of the most astounding poetry on the website Full Moon Tea. Here, poet yamabuki Zhou shares his poems, as well as those of his wife, El Collie, who passed away in 2002, and who was an authority and teacher on the subject of awakening Kundalini. Yamabuki tweets as @yamabuki9
Talented writer J.A. Pak has an always interesting and imaginative blog, and also a recently published trio of edible short stories, Act of Creation and Other Stories, a collection of stories about food – what more could you ask? She’s @JAPak on Twitter, where she tweets literature, cooking and hummingbirds. She also keeps a food blog, has published a blog novella, and on her main blog, you will find more short stories, and a cool story generator button. Click it to have her magic computer generate a story just for you. J.A. is one creative and talented person!
Ha Noi Ink is a blog on the topic of Vietnamese books, Vietnamese books in translation, and books translated into Vietnamese, as well as bookshops in Ha Noi and around the country. The man behind Ha Noi Ink visits bookshops large and small, talks with proprietors, takes photos, buys books and posts about all of this. Fascinating. We also did a joint posting together recently, on the topic of reading about the war in Viet Nam. (The link will take you to my post, where you will find another link to his post.) He tweets as @hanoi_ink.
Berit Ellingsen is a literary and speculative fiction author, who is publishing the novel The Empty City in serial format. Berit posts new chapters often, and it’s fascinating to follow. It is a story of inner exploration and enlightenment. On Twitter, look for @BeritEllingsen for tweets about literature, non-duality, two Burmese cats named Dotty and Chloe, and a big scoop of science.
I have to share the link to the gorgeous website of Solange Noir, photographer extraordinaire, who also writes poetry, fiction and more on her blog, Witty Noodles. Her Twitter handle is @SolangeNoir. I recently had the pleasure of working on a literary project together with Solange, Berit, and another very fine writer, N.F.Gayle, who I met on Twitter as @tadbo. He tweets and writes about literature, politics and soccer, with a healthy dose of gaming, and life in general.
Another writer whom I met on Twitter, @marcus_speh, always has a fantastic writing project going, and is a super inspiration to other writers. I can never figure out how he finds the time to write so much, and to change the header on his blog so often that I am rewarded with a new one each time I visit. Check out Nothing to Flawnt, and see for yourself. You will also find an incredible blog roll of writers, resources for writers, and literary magazines.
Lynda Bruce has been a visual artist since long before I met her, which is a long time. I’ve always been crazy about the colours she uses, and the dreamy, impressionistic canvases she creates. I recently discovered that she can wield words the way she wields colours. Her blog is fairly new. She posts often, in a style that is minimalist yet very full. Sometimes one of her images accompanies her words, and sometimes it’s just a few lines of poetry or a very short story. Whatever I find when I visit, I come away feeling that I have gained some new insight. She is @LyndaMBruce on Twitter.
Tricycle is an online Buddhist community and magazine that always has something new and interesting to read. I recently discovered they had posted Walk Like a Buddha; Arrive in the here and the now, an adaptation of an article by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, poet, author of numerous books, and activist for human rights. While working as a tour guide in Hue, Vietnam, one of my favourite places to bring people was the Tu Hieu Pagoda, where Thich Nhat Hanh became a monk at the age of sixteen, and received his monastic name. (Thich is the Vietnamese transliteration of Shakya, the family name of the Buddha, taken by all Vietnamese monks. Nhat Hanh is Sino-Vietnamese for One Action.) Tu Hieu is Thich Nhat Hanh’s root pagoda. The article on Tricycle was adapted from his book, Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Toward Enlightenment, published in 2007.
These are just a few of the websites that I visit regularly. Check them out, and feel free to comment.