WSCC professor authors new book

SCOTTVILLE – West Shore Community College announces the publication of a new book, “The Driftwood Shrine,” by Professor of Humanities John Wolff.

On Monday Wolff presented members of the WSCC Board of Trustees with a copies of the book. He also read sections of the book and and told the trustees what inspired him to write it.

“The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering Zen in American Poetry” is published by Sumeru Press, which describes the book as “the first collection of Zen teachings to be based on the poems of great American writers. In reassuring, forthright, and often surprising language, Wolff explains how Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and many other poets enshrined the gentle light of the Buddha’s teaching in their work.”

Stephen Batchelor, author of “After Buddhism” says, “Rather than treating Zen as an exotic import from the East, this wonderful series of meditations discerns and extracts its essence from the heart of American poetry.”

Wolff teaches English composition, creative writing, a wide variety of literature courses, and an experimental course in intrapersonal communications called Mindful Living. His current research and teaching interests center on the intersection of web research; humanitarian computing; and meditation and mindfulness in educational settings.

Sensei, is also a Zen priest and teacher in the White Plum Lineage of Zen Buddhism. He is the Dharma heir of Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, and the spiritual director of the Great Wave Zen Sangha in northern Michigan.

Wolff earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, an M.A. from the University of Colorado, and an M.F.A. at the University of Montanawhere he studied creative writing.

“My life is characterized by some seemingly long, intertwined vines of contrasting, if not competing, interests and activities.  These include my enduring love of writing of all kinds, but especially of poetry; my firm commitment to the transformational power of education; the curiously creative and powerful ability of contemporary technology to stimulate and amplify our teaching and learning; and my now 30-year commitment to Zen practice,” says Wolff.

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