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About Frederick Glaysher
FREDERICK GLAYSHER is an epic poet, rhapsode, poet-critic, and the author or editor of ten books.
In 1977, Glaysher took a theatre course in the Interpretative Reading of Poetry, learning that the Greek rhapsodes would travel throughout ancient Greece reciting Homer. Before long the idea of writing an epic poem became compelling and the dream that one day he might also revive the art of the rhapsode.
Glaysher studied writing under a private tutorial, at the University of Michigan, with the poet Robert Hayden and edited Hayden's prose and poetry. He holds two degrees from the University of Michigan, has lived and taught in Japan and on the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation in Arizona, traveled widely in China, was a Fulbright-Hays scholar to China and a National Endowment for the Humanities scholar on India.
For his three essays on the poet Robert Hayden, others on the United Nations, world religions, epic poetry, such writers as Tolstoy, Tagore, John Milton, Milosz, and Saul Bellow, see his two collections of essays, The Grove of the Eumenides and The Myth of the Enlightenment.
More than forty epic poetry readings and performances at the Michigan Theater Building (Ann Arbor), Theatre NOVA (Ann Arbor), Hathaway’s Hideaway (A2), Underground at Hilberry Theatre (WSU), Shelton Theater (San Francisco), University of Michigan’s Rackham Amphitheatre, Wayne State University, Saginaw Valley State University, Detroit Public Library, Troy Public Library, Hannan Café, Austin International Poetry Festival (TX), Paint Creek Unitarian Universalist, Birmingham Unitarian, Grosse Pointe Unitarian, Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington, Troy Interfaith, Theosophical Society of Detroit, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, East Side Reading Series, MUSINGS, Barnes & Noble, BookWoman, Espresso Royale, Sweetwaters, Himalayan (Berkeley, CA), Cafe International (SF), Sacred Grounds Café (SF), Tuesdays at North Beach Branch Library (SF), Florey’s Books (Pacific, CA), The Farmhouse, etc.
Download the Program for Solo Performance
Titles By Frederick Glaysher
Alluding extensively to Martin Luther and W. B. Yeats at All Souls Chapel, “metaphors for poetry,” from Yeats’s book A Vision, Glaysher considers the example of the global, universal message of the oneness of God, all religions, and humankind, holding out a new hope and peaceful Vision for a world in spiritual and global crisis.
Far from a theocracy, Glaysher envisions a modest separation of church and state, as the will of God, in an unorganized religion, a universal synthesis of all spiritual and wisdom traditions, in harmony and balance with universal peace, in a global age of pluralism, where religious belief is a distinctive mark of the individual, not collective, communal identity.
"A valuable contribution to understanding the real history of the Bahai Faith." —Yahoo! Reform Bahai Group
"Mr. Glaysher, in my view, is taking some positive steps to resolve some serious issues in the Baha'i community. ...The Faith needs a total overhaul. It has forgotten what the real Faith is." —Joel Bjorling, author of The Baha'i Faith: A Historical Bibliography. New York. Garland Publishing, 1985.
"Riveting! I was unable to put it down until completion in the wee hours. As the journey of the writer took many years to complete, it reminded me, too, of my Bahai journey.... Strangely, I had never remembered seeing Abdul-Baha's 1912 Covenant, anywhere. Where was it hidden? Is there more such documented evidence being suppressed?" —Reform Bahai Faith Forum
Thirty years in the making, The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem, by Frederick Glaysher, takes place partly on the moon, at the Apollo 11 landing site, the Sea of Tranquility.
Apollo, the Greek god of poetry, calls all the poets of the nations, ancient and modern, East and West, to assemble on the moon to consult on the meaning of modernity. The Parliament of Poets sends the main character, the Poet of the Moon, on a Journey to the seven continents to learn from all of the spiritual and wisdom traditions of humankind. On Earth and on the moon, the poets teach a new global, universal vision of life.
One of the major themes is the power of women and the female spirit across cultures. Another is the nature of science and religion, including quantum physics, as well as the "two cultures," science and the humanities.
All the great shades appear at the Apollo 11 landing site in the Sea of Tranquility: Homer and Virgil from the Greek and Roman civilizations; Dante, Spenser, and Milton hail from the Judeo-Christian West; Rumi, Attar, and Hafez step forward from Islam; Du Fu and Li Po, Basho and Zeami, step forth from China and Japan; the poets of the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana meet on that plain; griots from Africa; shamans from Indonesia and Australia; Murasaki Shikibu, Emily Dickinson, and Jane Austen, poets and seers of all Ages, bards, rhapsodes, troubadours, and minstrels, major and minor, hail across the halls of time and space.
That transcendent rose symbol of our age, the Earth itself, viewed from the heavens, one world with no visible boundaries, metaphor of the oneness of the human race, reflects its blue-green light into the darkness of the starry universe.
Twenty years in the making, The Grove of the Eumenides invokes a global vision beyond the prevailing postmodern conceptions of life and literature that have become firmly entrenched in contemporary world culture.
East and West meet in a new synthesis of a global vision of humankind ranging over classic literature, ancient and modern, both Western and non-Western, from the dilemmas of modernity in Yeats, Eliot, Milosz, Bellow, Dostoevsky, to Lu Xun, Ryuichi Tamura, Kenzaburo Oe, Naguib Mahfouz, R. K. Narayan, among others, from mimesis and deconstruction to the United Nations, with extensive essays on Chinese, Japanese, and South-Asian literature.
Clearly the work of a poet-critic attempting to embrace a larger portion of human experience than the personal postmodern self, The Grove of the Eumenides reaches toward an epic vision of the twenty-first century. All the muck and glory of American and international experience and history mix in the complex tension of a mind struggling with itself and its Age. Acutely perceptive of the spiritual and moral nuances of literature, criticism, and culture, Glaysher confronts the loss of religious faith in the modern world and breaks through to a vision of the unity of the human longing for transcendence.
"Poet Frederick Glaysher in these essays comments on a variety of literary and social issues, ranging from the plays of Sophocles, and the major works of Japanese literature, to the loss of religion and spirituality in modern society and literature." —“New Titles Elected for Essay and General Literature Index,” September 2007, H. W. Wilson Co.
"Intriguing because I stop and think about his arguments. What is the role of the universal, of epic poetry, and how has postmodernism dealt with mimesis? Scholarly, well-substantiated arguments, with a wealth of materials that challenge precepts you might have about the "value" of a writer/writing/cultural contributions." —Kitty Jospe, Goodreads
Structured around classical Greek choral movements, the first section engages with themes from Japanese Buddhism, while the second and third survey Western philosophy from Aristotle and Plato through Descartes, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Derrida, and others, in a powerfully dramatic grappling with philosophy, East and West.
From the Preface:
“. . . so I sought in words of poetry to intimate to an age of doctrinaire nihilism that God still exists, calls us always, if only we will pray and listen to Her.”
Frederick Glaysher studied writing with the poet Robert Hayden and edited both Hayden's Collected Prose (University of Michigan Press) and his Collected Poems (Liveright). He holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Michigan, the latter in English. At the college and university level, he taught American and non-Western literature, world religions, etc., for ten years.
Glaysher lived for more than fifteen years outside Michigan—in Japan, where he taught at Gunma University in Maebashi; in Arizona, on the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation, site of one of the largest internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII; in Illinois, on the central farmlands and on the Mississippi; ultimately returning to his suburban hometown of Rochester. A Fulbright-Hays scholar to China in 1994, he studied at Beijing University, the Buddhist Mogao Caves on the old Silk Road, and elsewhere in China, including Hong Kong and the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. Since 1994 he has resided again in Michigan, in Rochester and Oakland Township.
While a National Endowment for the Humanities scholar in 1995 on India, he further explored the conflicts between the traditional regional civilizations of Islamic and Hindu cultures and modernity. he has been an outspoken advocate of the United Nations and was an accredited participant at the UN Millennium Forum (2000).