Yarn is about the stories we tell. Collected around three dramatic monologues – The Cattle Farmer’s Tale, The Travellers from Orissa and Aaron’s Brother – Yarn includes an extended sequence of elegies, an account of a Warwickshire childhood and two stories about the Buddha.
Ranging from the Holocaust to ancient India, from Kabir to Cavafy, using free verse, rhyme, prose poem and blank verse, Maitreyabandhu’s new collection is a vivid and at times disturbing account of the world we live in and the history that shapes us.
Maitreyabandhu is a well-known figure in Britain’s Buddhist community. His first book-length collection, The Crumb Road (Bloodaxe Books, 2013), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was widely praised.
‘Composed of four discrete but symbolically linked sections, Yarn embraces the spirit, if not the strict form, of Japanese renga poetry, where, according to John Kerrigan, "what holds between poems becomes intrinsic". Blackbirds, chaffinches and robins fly from poem to poem, perching on the profusion of cherry blossoms, apple trees and poplars, while gentle winds blow throughout the book. These images recur in shifting forms, accruing layers of symbolism as they bind Yarn, and give the impression of a collection reaching for something just beyond the horizon... At its best, Yarn suggests a way of apprehending the world with all its quiet beauty, yearning and loss, and suggests "another kind of memory" – one that moves you to "repair the day / in thought […] then listen out for echoes.’ – Frank Lawton, Times Literary Supplement
‘The best of these poems speak as much of psychological harm, uncertainty and the divisions we create as they do of unity, beauty, or well-adjusted contentment... In the end, though, the impression is of a poet who combines a self-effacing, observational stance with often searing, complicated feeling... Yarn is a collection where the transcendent promise of Buddhist enlightenment meets with the blunt reality of flawed humanity.’ – Ben Wilkinson, The Poetry Review.
‘His skills with form and his brilliant capture of colloquial speech, his obviously profound engagement with Buddhist thought and his commitment to poetry as a form of expression make him a unique figure in the UK literary landscape.’ – Martyn Crucefix
Maitreyabandhu launches Yarn in Manchester
Maitreyabandhu shares some of the poems from his second collection Yarn at Triratna Night at the Manchester Buddhist Centre on 12 October 2015.
Maitreyabandhu launches Yarn at Poetry East
Maitreyabandhu reads from and discusses his second collection Yarn at a special Poetry East event at the London Buddhist Centre.
Maitreyabandhu reads from The Crumb Road
Maitreyabandhu reads from his debut collection The Crumb Road at Sheffield Buddhist Centre.
Maitreyabandhu: Poetry and the Spiritual Life
Maitreyabandhu discusses Poetry and the Spiritual Life with Martin Collins at the Sheffield Buddhist Centre. Part of the Off the Shelf Festival 2013.