When award-winning poet and essayist James Lenfestey stumbled upon Han-shan's Cold Mountain poems in 1974, he found more than just literature, he found the medicine his spirit desperately needed. So thirty years later, when he decided to depart from his career in advertising and journalism to travel across the world to find the location of the legendary Cold Mountain cave, he embarks upon an inner journey as well.
Exploring the history of Chinese poetry and religion as he goes, from the enormous chanting hall of ten thousand Buddhas in Bailin Temple to the birthplace of Confucius, Lenfestey's road-trip across China is a pilgrimage through language and landscape. In the end he discovers not only the cave he seeks, but also the trans-formative power of poetry, the best tool we have for expressing the "incomprehensible joy" of our brief and precious lives.
Interspersed with poems by the author and Han-shan, Seeking the Cave is a journey suffused with humor and deep honesty that will appeal to lovers of poetry and travel writing alike.
After a creer in academia, advertisising and journalism as an editorial writer at the Minneapolis StarTribune, where he wone several Page One awards for excellence, James Lenfestey has published poetry, reviews and articles, plus a book of personal essays; The Urban Coyote: Howlings on Family, Community and The searth for Peace and Quiet.
He has published four poetry collections, including A Cartload of Scrolls: 100 Poems in the manner of T'Ang Dynasty Poet Han-Shan, and Into the Goodhue County Jail: Poems to Free Prisoners.
Lenfestey chairs the Literary Witnesses poetry program in Menneapolis and teaches poetry every summer on Mackinac Island, Michigan. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, the political writer Susan Lenfestey. His websie is www.coyotepoet.com