Julia Martin

Julia Martin

Martin, Julia



               Julia Martin CV 2015 for Changsha .pdf

 Julia Martin is a South African writer and literary scholar. Her involvement in the work of Gary Snyder since the early 1980’s is part of a broader interest in ecological thought, metaphors of interconnectedness, and the representation of place. She has published widely in academia media, but is increasingly involved in writing creative nonfiction.

 Prof. Martin teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

 Prof. Martin received her PhD from the University of the Western Cape.

Main Works

Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places (Gary Snyder in

conversation with Julia Martin – interviews and letters over 30 years) (2014)

A Millimetre of Dust: Visiting Ancestral Sites (2008)

Writing Home (2002)

Ecological Responsibility: A Dialogue with Buddhism (ed. 1997)

Selected Articles on Gary Snyder

The Pattern which Connects: Metaphor in Gary Snyder's Later Poetry (1987)

Practising Emptiness: Gary Snyder's Playful Ecological Work (1992)

Seeing a Corner of the Sky in Gary Snyder’s Mountains and Rivers Without End


Mountains, Waters, Walking: Gary Snyder’s Reticulate Meshwork of Trails (2015)

Title: “Our love is mixed with rocks and streams”: Attachment and Release in Some of Gary Snyder’s Love Poems

Abstract: The talk that I have in mind explores some of Snyder's love poems. It begins with a reflection on ‘Go Now’, his astonishing new poem about Carole's death. My thought is to start by witnessing to what a powerful impact this poem makes, and to describe how my first reaction to it was silence. After that - after a few days, in fact - the fierce imagery of the poem began to settle in my mind, to find its place. I began to see that while it is a poem about the mystery of death and impermanence, it is also about the mystery of love: an experience of strong attachment which is, in some extraordinary way, the gateway to release. This led to thinking about the thread of love poems in Snyder’s oeuvre as a whole. In a sense, one might say, all his writing proceeds from a deep love of the world into a realisation that goes beyond. So there are many ecstatic poems that celebrate his love of the living biosphere (seeing the world ‘in its thusness’, both in its particulars, and as the whole system, sometimes as Gaia, often not), and this gives us a wealth of ecological and spiritual reflection. In a sense these are all love poems. But my idea is to mention some of them briefly, and then to look more closely at poems about human love, the love of a partner, of a wife. There aren't so many of these, but enough to present an interesting collection. So I would like to look closely at a few, considering how the love relationship with a particular person becomes a sort of portal into a nondual awareness of the shimmering interconnectedness of the living world as it arises in the present moment. In other words, the love poems are a way into Snyder's distinctive ecological Buddhist sensibility, and many of them function in this sense as a form of teaching. Most recently, and powerfully, the poem about the death of his lover is unrelentingly tough, painful, and at the same time luminous.

 Some poems I would like to consider or mention (too many I know, and this list may well change): Four poems for Robin; Wave; Song of the Taste; The Bed in the Sky; Regarding Wave; It Was When; Love; The Bath; Charms; Bedrock; True Night; Old Rotting Tree Trunk Down; With this Flesh; Haida Gwai North Coast; Cross-Legg’d; Finding the Space in the Heart; For Carole; Falling from a Height, Holding Hands; The Earth’s Wild Places; The Shrine at Delphi; Go Now.

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