Geoffrey Philp is the author of "Archipelagos," a book of poems about #climatechange. He is working on a graphic novel, "My Name is Marcus."
Chanting Down Babylon in the Anthropocene
The music of Bob Marley and the Wailers has always been a guiding force in my life. From as early as 1973, when I lived in Mona Heights, Jamaica, and sat in the living room of Micky Mowatt, or Jah Love as we called him after the name of his sound system, I still remember the first time I heard "Rastaman Chant" from the Burnin’ album.
- Top Story - October 2023
Writing Ekphrastic Haiku in Liturgical TimeTop Story - October 2023
Dear Elizabeth, On my usual walk to Greynolds Park, searching for something, as Bashō said, that would make “my mind leap,” I thought about your Facebook post on October 2, 2023: “Today is the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.”
The Crucible of the Page
Alchemy was the stuff of medieval tales. Alchemists--not the ones like Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle--were old men with pointy hats, almost like wizards, standing over furnaces with alembics and other distillation devices. And to be an alchemist, you couldn't be any old wizard--you had to be like a Merlin-level alchemist for transformation to occur. Or so I thought until I realized that every time I pick up my pen--yeah, I still use a pen, think of it as my magic wand-- I'm performing a feat of alchemy.
Zen and the Art of Haiku
Forty years ago, my mentor, the late Dennis Scott, introduced me to haiku. Since then, I've studied this concise form that can express intense awareness and mindfulness. Through books like The Haiku Handbook, The Haiku Seasons, Haiku World, and Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon, I've learned techniques and been inspired by masters from Bashō to Richard Wright. But, in what I can only describe as a moment of serendipity, during my recent trip to Turkey, I discovered Eugen Herrigel's Zen and the Art of Archery, which made me see the links between Zen and the practice of haiku.
The Legacies of Oppression:
As a Jamaican immigrant residing in Miami, I've encountered instances of feeling like an outsider or an "Other" within American society. This feeling of exclusion, stemming from factors such as my race, nationality, and immigrant status, significantly influenced my latest book of poems, "Archipelagos." Within this collection, I delve into the concept of Othering across various lines, including race, ethnicity, religion, culture, and the aftermath of colonialism.
Ten Days In Turkey
Istanbul is a city bristling with life. The past and present, the sacred and the profane rub shoulders in seemingly easy commerce under the shadow of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, which overlooks the Golden Horn inlet and traces its origins back to the early 17th-century days of the Ottoman Empire.