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Fil Lewitt Books

Fil's Amazon page - bio and most complete list of books

Here's Fil's cuke link page


4-13-11 - Canyon Wren's Rag  [amazon link} - under the imprint of Fictional Enterprises, brings together 276 poems, containing fifty years, 1960-2010, of the selected poems of Fil Lewitt, accompanied by some of his drawings. It is the COMPANION VOLUME to "The Zen Follies" (2010), which is an illustrated, non-fiction, mostly prose book of autobiography, stories, tales, aphorisms, and essays about one man's journey into American Zen Buddhism. "Canyon Wren's Rag" is in some sense more of the same, but all in poetry, a medium in which Fil Lewitt has been working steadily since the age of fourteen, not a medium that can ever be perfected, but one in which there is constant growth and change. Many of the poems are sonnets, and many are funny, though Lewitt writes no doggerel; the humor is indwelling, with many puns and plays on words. There is also a sense of wonder at the strange worlds we all inhabit, as well as the tunes and music inherent in words. There are nine chapters or sections, which are presented mostly chronologically, though finally based more on content than on strict chronology. The chapters are: "Big River; Old World; Advice from Uncle Etcetera; Monastery in Ragtime; Potted Palms; Thin Air; The Narrow Road to the Far East; Mangos in Moonlight; Sonnets To A Muse." Each chapter's poems are from a different place and a different time. Lewitt's poetry is not sentimental, nor is it about religious faith, though the poems trace a path through a life both of the spirit of being human and of the nature of hard work and play. He has been a Zen Buddhist for more than forty years. If you hate poetry, you probably won't like it; but if you can even stand poetry, you probably will. Nothing can adequately describe a poem, so try this one, titled CLUTTER: "words, / revolving, / too many women / none loves. // I threw out my furniture / today: ate an apple, / brown rice in a bowl, green tea. / Where are you, / big river?" Or this line from another poem: "calling all birds with one note / whistling in the breeze". Even long after the big bronze bell has been struck, the reverberations continue outward in waves.


10-04-10 - The Zen Follies

Fil Lewitt's The Zen Follies, is available only on Amazon.com (that's the book's link). The following places and persons are among the ones mentioned or discussed in The Zen Follies: Tassajara Monastery, San Francisco Zen Center, Big River Farm Sangha, Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto; Fil Lewitt (myself), Katagiri Dainin-roshi, Suzuki Shunryu-roshi,  Tatsugami-roshi, Tommy Dorsey-roshi, Ikkyu-roshi, Kobori Nanrei-sensei, Chogyam Trungpa-rinpoche, Dick Baker, Reb Anderson, Bob Walter, Alan Rabold, Jack Elias, David Chadwick, Ed Brown, Dan Welch, Daisy Hellman Paradis, Linda Crawford, Gary Snyder, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Harold Brayton, and others. - That's from Fil's message about the book. Read the whole message.


9-29-08 - Check out Fil Lewitt's three novels. Here's an Amazon link. Waiting for his memories of Suzuki Roshi. Fil's been living in Japan for years and is about to move to Thailand with his wife.

Dear Friends & Acquaintances,

       The purpose of this email is to let you know that Fil Lewitt has published his 3 novels: TIGHT, DEAD WHITE MALES, and MILLENNIAL BLUES. They are all available from < www.amazon.com> by going to "books" and then inputting "Fil Lewitt."

       Each novel is a quality paperback edition, 5.25" x 8", cheap at $9.95. If you order all three, you get free shipping (within the USA). What a deal!

       Although there are further descriptions of each novel at Amazon, I'll add a bit here: The three novels make up an informal trilogy, and are written in a genre I call "lit-pop," meaning they are accessible as pop thrillers / mysteries, but are all written with (I hope) wit and ideas and characters you'd like to get to know, something beyond just plot and cardboard cut-out figures. This informal trilogy is a trio of satires as well, and though funny, the novels are also serious and easy to read. No literary heebie-jeebies.

       The first novel, TiGHT, takes place in the late 1960s, mainly in San Francisco, and satirizes the sexual revolution of that era, wrapped in an abduction mystery.
       The second novel, DEAD WHITE MALES, takes place in Santa Fe in the mid-1990s, and satirizes higher education as a serial killer offs profs.
       The third novel, MILLENNIAL BLUES, takes place in New Mexico, and satirizes religion and a murderous, felonious religious cult.

       Please go to Amazon for a further description of each novel.

       I hope you'll try one, or all three. If you feel okay about it, I would greatly appreciate it if you would forward this letter to friends who might be interested. Anyway, thanks for listening.

       Best regards,
                               Fil Lewitt


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