Spotlight on: The Divine Farmer's Renga by Alexander Lucksmith

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The Divine Farmer’s Renga was written for all the tea sellers, divine farmers, pastoral gleaners, and banana plant poets. and Written straight from the heart while surrounded by years of research, journals, letters, and notes scratched on coffee-stained napkins, this materia medica reads like a poetry book (or as some would say, this poetry book reads like a materia medica).

Included are nearly 350 individual Chinese herbology entries, ranging from “Gathering Happiness Flower” to giant black centipede. Each listing provides alternate names from other alternative medicine modalities, Five-Elements energetic qualities, and a quick reference of traditional Chinese Medicine uses. Tying the herbs together are more than 1,000 haiku-style verses arranged in “San-ku”. Some poems refer to the herbs themselves, while others range from nostalgic tastes of cheap popsicles, pastoral tributes to Basho, and starry-eyed wishes for the future. Alexander Lucksmith’s first book is perfect for poets and practitioner alike.




About the Author:



Alexander Lucksmith (both a pen-name and an aspiration) was born in the foothills of Colorado in the 80’s. Feng Shui practitioners would discover that between the Platte and the plains was the perfect chi for nourishing the heart. Most of his youth was spent on hilly backyards digging for treasure, in basements playing Nintendo, and exploring Asian grocery stores.

His love for herbs came from long weekend roadtrips in the back of a yellow 70’s Vanagon. The only reading material was a beat up field guide to identifying and using medicinal herbs. Countless days of plucking mint and hand-identifying nettles turned into a apothecary clerk at a Chinese pharmacy. 

A chance encounter with nameless tea saints in Seattle gave Alexander the mantra “We may not be rich, or smart, but we can make a good cup of tea, and sometimes that makes all the difference”.

Like a swallow flying in coach, he returns to Japan every four years to roost. Sometimes he makes his home on the island of Shikoku, and other times in cheap Tokyo underpasses.





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