44.3 Cover.jpeg

Relativity of Zen

Grain Volume 44, No. 3, Spring 2017.

"Japanese Buddhists developed the idea of Zen as an ideal state of tranquility; meditation, calmness, and acceptance are key aspects of Zen, and this issue features many different approaches to achieving Zen. Our leading story, from which this issue takes its cue, is Paddy Scott’s “Zen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance,” the title which plays on the popular book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Scott’s story and the stories and poems that follow feature people trying to find some semblance of equilibrium: the characters in Andrew Sullivan’s “Colleen” try to move beyond a child’s death; Star Spider’s narrator attempts to resolve family tensions in “Gramma”; Christine Schrum details her mother’s idiosyncrasies in her nonfiction story “Brahman is the Charioteer.”

"The issue ends with John Pass’s poems “Dragonfly” and “Sapsucker.” This choice is quite deliberate: there is hope as long as we continue to create, for the act of creation is, like Pass’s poems, hopeful and meditative."

— From the Editor’s Note

Editor: Adam Pottle
Art Editor / Designer: Stephanie Campbell
Associate Fiction Editor: Nicole Haldoupis
Associate Poetry Editor: Sheri Benning

Cover Image: Winnie Truong, Huldra (2016) 

Contributors: Paddy Scott, Tyler Perry, Catriona Wright, Tom Wayman, Heather Foster, Elizabeth Boyd, gillian harding-russell, Joel Katelnikoff, Bradley Fest, Christine Schrum, Ruth Daniell, Méira Cook, Elaine Woo, Claire Humphrey, James Wood, Andrew F. Sullivan, Sue Chenette, Star Spider, Joanne Ellison, Elaine Hayes, Michael Quilty, Alicia Elliott, John Pass.