What is Poetry as Practice?

Poetry as Practice is the exploration of spiritual practice through the written word and even better, the spoken word.

Writing is at the heart of my own spiritual practice.  I like to encourage people reading and listening to poetry to forget about what the poet might have meant.  What does the poem mean to you?  What feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas, memories does the poem evoke for you?  For me the giving and receiving of inspiration are one.  Poetry as Practice gatherings are a time and place of beauty and spaciousness.  Not your typical poet and audience experience but rather one in which we put The Word out into our circle and allow it to settle in meditative silence.  An experience in which participants can share their one and many experiences of one poem.

In this playshop we will practice listening deeply to some poetry selected by the facilitator in a spacious and meditative fashion.  I will share poems of some of the great masters who inspire me as well as some of my own. Together we can explore what I refer to as “downloading poetry into our HeartDrives”.  What happens when we take our own words off the page and put them into our hearts?  What happens when we put the words of great masters the like of Rumi, Hafiz, Rilke and Neruda into our hearts?  What magick can we conjure by invoking those words? How does this influence us as writers and beings on our path?  We will explore together the power of “kototama” a Japanese word that can be translated as “Word Spirit” and how and why taking The Word ‘off the page’ can add so much to the experience of reciting and listening to poetry.  I will share some specific and highly practical techniques that can be used in ‘downloading’.

You do not have to be a poet or a writer to participate in Poetry as Practice.  I like to say that “great poetry is no fun without ears to hear.”  All that is required is a love for The Word, curiosity and an open heart.  Exactly what we will do together will depend on the participants individual experiences.  There will be some meditative time as well as time for people to write and/or speak about their experiences. Depending on group size and engagement there may be time for people to share their passion for a particular piece of poetry that have remembered by heart and/or to take some time to do some individual writing that may be inspired from the playshop experience.

Reading the section of my book titled HeartDrive as well as the introduction of Limitlessness will give participants some further insight into my passion and perspective.  If you do not have a copy of the book, you can read these sections on my website. Here:  HeartDrive and here:  Introduction

The next Poetry as Practice gathering will take place on Sunday March 8th from 9:00 AM – Noon at Tortuga Gallery 901 Edith Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102.  This is an RSVP event, no drop ins please.  Interested participants should send a one sentence expression of their love for The Word to matthew@CrowsOutpost.com.  There is a sliding scale suggested donation of $10 – $25 for this gathering.

I will be performing poems from my recently released book “Limitlessness” the night before 3/7 at 7:00 PM at Tech Love 3901 Central Ave NE in ABQ with an introduction by Stewart S. Warren and musical accompaniment by classical guitarist Paul Trujillo beginning at 7:00 PM.  Poetry as Practice Participants are encouraged to come to the performance if they are able.

I look forward to exploring The Word with you.

Matthew P. Crowley