Poetry and Mindfulness

About Poetry and Mindfulness: Interruption to a Journey   (Palgrave Macmillan)

At a time when the Humanities are under threat, this book offers a defense of poetry within the context of growing interest in mindfulness in business, health care, and education. The book argues that the benefits and insights mindfulness provides are also cultivated by the study of poetry. These benefits include a focus on the present, the ability to see through scripts and habits, a rethinking of subjectivity, and the development of ecological or systems thinking. Bryan Walpert employs close readings of traditional and experimental poetry and draws on scientific studies of the effects of mindfulness or reading literature on the brain. It argues the skills that poetry, like mindfulness, cultivates are useful beyond the page or classroom and ultimately are necessary to engage with such global issues as the environmental crisis.

“A wonderful book that demonstrates the essential relationship between enhanced perception and creativity, Poetry and Mindfulness is a “must read” for anyone interested in art, literature, and the role of conscious attention in the discovery of new meaning and beauty in the world. — Mark S. Ferrara, author of Palace of Ashes: China and the Decline of American Higher Education

“In this beautifully written and cogently argued book, Bryan Walpert demonstrates the enduring value of poetry. Walpert teaches us that in our secular age when technology is an obsession and distractions abound, poetry can lead us back to a mindfulness that helps us rediscover ourselves and our place in the natural world.” — Joe Moffett, Assistant Professor of English, Kentucky State University

“An eloquent argument for the ‘natural fit’ of poetry and mindfulness, and by extension for the relevance of poetry – indeed, for the importance of the arts and humanities as antidotes to the toxicities of ‘click, click’ living. — Sue Wootton, Corpus (full review)