© 2017

Poetry and Mindfulness

Interruption to a Journey


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Bryan Walpert
    Pages 1-15
  3. Bryan Walpert
    Pages 17-34
  4. Bryan Walpert
    Pages 35-56
  5. Bryan Walpert
    Pages 57-79
  6. Bryan Walpert
    Pages 81-99
  7. Bryan Walpert
    Pages 101-121
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 123-125

About this book


At a time when the Humanities are under threat, this book offers a defense of poetry within the context of growing interest in mindfulness in business, health care and education. The book argues that the benefits and insights mindfulness provides are also cultivated by the study of poetry. These benefits include a focus on the present, the ability to see through scripts and habits, a rethinking of subjectivity, and the development of ecological or systems thinking. Bryan Walpert employs close readings of traditional and experimental poetry and draws on scientific studies of the effects of mindfulness or reading literature on the brain. It argues the skills that poetry, like mindfulness, cultivates are useful beyond the page or classroom and ultimately are necessary to engage with such global issues as the environmental crisis.


ecopoetry ecocriticism mindfulness study of poetry benefits of mindfulness practice of mindfulness campaign for the humanities Pedagogy of the Humanities Humanities education and mindfulness mindfulness and technology's effect on the brain nature poetry and mindfulnesss anatman and post-structuralism Zen Buddhism and mindfulness poetry and systems thinking Development of critical thinking skills through poetry study Uses of lyric poetry analysis in business and science poetry and mindfulness for developing attention and compassion Neuroscience of Poetry Poetry and systems thinking poetry and subjectivity

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of English and Media StudiesMassey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand

About the authors

Bryan Walpert is Associate Professor in the School of English & Media Studies at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. His publications include the poetry collections Etymology, A History of Glass, and Native Bird; the fiction collection Ephraim’s Eyes, and the monograph Resistance to Science in Contemporary American Poetry

Bibliographic information


“what Walpert does so beautifully in this book is use the art to save the art. … Poetry and Mindfulness is primarily aimed at those who teach literary studies and creative writing ‘who find themselves pressed by students, colleagues, or those beyond the academy to explain the relevance of poetry’. It will also interest poets, and anyone interested in current research about the intersections between literature and wellbeing, or mindfulness and wellbeing. It’s worth interrupting your journey to read this book.” (Sue Wootton, Corpus,, November 19, 2018)