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Author's Name: Amtzis Wayne
Wayne Amtzis was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1947 and grew up in Staten Island, New York. He studied at Syracuse University and UC Berkeley and received his masters in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He has lived and worked in Asia since 1976 and his writing has appeared internationally and in Nepali translation. He is the author of the poetry collections: City on Their Backs and Sandcastle City/Quicksand Nation and the editor and co-translator of Days in the Life, translations from Nepali and Nepal Bhasa; Two Sisters, the poetry of Benju Sharma and Manju Kanchuli; and of From The Lake, Love, The Poetry of Banira Giri. His photos of Kathmandu appear in the collection flatLine witness, and a book-length series of his poems and photos, The Decisive/The Unresolved, has been published in Studies in Nepali History and Society. He exhibited his street photos at Siddhartha Gallery, Kathmandu in 2001, 2002 and 2004. A student of Penor Rinpoche and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, he practices and teaches meditation in Kathmandu, Nepal under the guidance of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, emphasizing the relation between meditation and creative expression.
This is a poetry book on war and peace. The core of Sandcastle City, written in Kathmandu between 2003 and 2008 during the Maoist insurrection and aftermath, are emotive, sound driven poems born of sickness and disquiet, an outsiders attempt to empathize with a country and people tearing themselves apart and more universal ruminations on violence, torture, impunity and death. The work that opens and closes the book however was composed mostly in the early 90's and in the present day. These image driven depictions of street life in Kathmandu present a city dwellers recounting of the world he passes through, poems formed with a detached and an omnivorous eye. In the first instance the aim was catharsis and in the second, awareness. The authors concern throughout was with how lives are lived and suffering endured. The reader can see the years of violence in the context of the unhappy peace that preceded and follows it.
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