If you live in Ann Arbor, you may recognize the name "White Lotus" from your local grocery store. It's the name of a farm, just outside of town on Liberty, especially known for its creamy goat cheeses, which are quite delicious, especially when spread on one of the whole grain breads also baked at White Lotus Farms.
What you might not know about White Lotus Farms is their ongoing partnership with One Pause Poetry, a non-profit arts organization that brings together local and nationally recognized artists, poets, musicians, artisans, and performers to stimulate creative dialogue and create circumstances where beauty and awareness can flourish. Poetry events take place in White Lotus Farms contemplation garden, which is modeled after Monet's garden, and contains lavender fields, poppies, wildflowers, meditation spaces, and clear ponds blooming with lilypads and tranquil waterfalls.
One pause at White Lotus
Gary Snyder, the father of "Deep Ecology" poetry, reads at White Lotus Farms in September, inaugurating the 2015-2016 One Pause Poetry Series. I can't imagine a more suitable location for a reading of Snyder's work, which is born of and lives in the open air. In his poem "What You Should Know to be a Poet," Snyder writes, as an opening answer to the title's question: "all you can about animals as persons./ the name of trees and flowers and weeds./ names of stars, and the movements of the planets and the moon."
At the beginning of last season, I went to see California poets, married couple Robert Hass and Brenda Hillman reading together at White Lotus Farms. The air was golden. In the distance milky-eyed goats roamed, nodding, koi glittered in the pond, and we spectators gathered beneath a white canopy, as if for a ceremony. I remember the conclusion of Hillman's fiery, powerful reading, darkness settling around us, the moon becoming visible in the sky, and Hass taking the stage, calling out to his wife: "My beloved!" as she found her way to her seat again. The crowd seemed to vibrate with the warmth of that moment.
One Pause Poetry's events series is free and open to the public; how incredibly fortunate we are for the opportunity to engage with this high caliber of art in an intimate, beautiful natural setting like White Lotus Farms.
So, if you have never visited the lush gardens at White Lotus Farm, think about making the drive down Liberty as we slip into Fall. Hear poetry read aloud by some of our finest living writers, courtesy of One Pause Poetry. And don't miss Gary Snyder, September 17th, at 7pm, in the garden.
Literati Bookstore, recently recovered from its unfortunate flood, will have booksellers on hand and a broad selection of Snyder's work for the signing, which will follow the reading. Again, the Gary Snyder event and all of One Pause Poetry's events, are free and open to the public.
7pm Thursday, September 17th.
White Lotus Farms, 7217 W. Liberty Rd.
734-707-1284 | whitelotusfarms.com