With little to no funds and nothing but a spark of an idea, this project quickly grew legs of its own. Since then all of us (especially me, the editor), have been sprinting to keep up.
Part of me is quite relieved that there is no 13.13.13. For this reason I’m not feeling obligated to do a third volume. Serendipitously, I decided to release the first volume on 11.11.11, this second volume on 12.12.12 and included 333 pages of poetry in each volume.
This massive undertaking was just supposed to be a small book at first. Grant money was drying up, and we needed to figure out a more creative way to raise money for our youth development work. I was the executive director of One Common Unity at that time. With little effort the submissions started pouring in. I realized that I had underestimated the power of the idea.
You see, I’ve been inspired my whole life by poetry and the idea of a modern day renaissance of age-old, and now deceased, master poets such as Hafiz, Mirabai, Kabir and Rumi was quite appealing. I wanted to help reclaim the mystical expression that defines so many yoga practitioners around the world today.
You’ll find when you dive into the volumes that even technology can’t dampen our need for creative expression through words. I found it out quickly as my nights were quickly monopolized with reading through about 2,300 pages of submissions.
I have no one but the contributors to thank. People like Sharon Gannon, Shiva Rea, Krishna Das, Rod Stryker, Doug Swenson, Sianna Sherman, Bob Weisenberg, MC Yogi, Swami Ramananda, Seane Corn and Aadil Palkhivala who were supportive and encouraging (even after my repeated emails)—-of this dream.
My no-string budget and I even got a small review column in Yoga Journal. After about the tenth email, I think they didn’t know any other way to get me out of their inbox. They described the anthology as, “Perfect for solitary contemplation…and full of yogic wisdom.”
The community here at elephant journal has been a huge blessing. Waylon Lewis gave us a testimonial too, “And now two ancient lineages reawaken one another… offering salve for the soul.”
You can be the judge. Does The Poetry of Yoga expand the literary tradition of yoga to include the cultural perspective of the 21st century? And how does our work as cultural activists and global healers relate to the more than 300+ poets from 19 countries who are interwoven through two voluptuous volumes.
Creator and Editor, The Poetry of Yoga.
My latest piece published on elephant journal:
Releasing on 12.12.12:
The Poetry of Yoga (Vol. 2)
Ed: Kate B.
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