Art Beat: Living in the deep
Poet and philosopher Mark Nepo has arranged fifty years of his life’s poetry, more than 1,400 poems, into several volumes that will be published in limited editions. The Half-Life of Angels (Freefall Books 2023) is the first in the series, written in his fifties and sixties. Nepo has been called "one of the finest spiritual guides of our time," "a consummate storyteller," and "an eloquent spiritual teacher." He has published twenty-five books, won numerous awards, and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages.
“It’s amazing after all these years to look back at the trail. And the trail of any writer or artist, I believe, is the trail of our conversation with life and the universe and all those forces that shape us,” Nepo says. “Looking back, it was remarkable to see the particular struggles and joys of my own life as I evolved as a spirit in a body in time on Earth. And also the kind of mythic glimpses of everything larger than me that I’ve tried to understand over time. I think one of the surprising things was that when I was younger—which I think is normal—I would glimpse something or dive into the deep, and then, like a diver, I would want to bring up whatever I found to the surface and share it with you. And that was the poem. But somewhere along the way, I began to live in the deep. So now it is about inviting you down into the deep to visit so we can be there together.”
Nepo first came into the wider public eye when he was featured by Oprah Winfrey on TV in 2014 and has since appeared with her several times on her Super Soul Sunday program. He now offers readings, lectures, and retreats nationwide.
On Thursday, April 13, Nepo will be at the Hicks Student Center on the campus of Kalamazoo College from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. He will give a 35-minute reading, followed by a 35-minute question-and-answer period. The appearance will conclude with another 35-minute reading and book signing. The event is free and open to the public.
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