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100 Ways to Kiss the Ground - Renowned Rumi interpreter Coleman Barks & master musicians

Saturday, July 5, 2014 8:00pm

St. Andrew's-Wesley Church
1022 Burrard St.


purchase tickets online here
by phone at 604-737-8858,
or in person at Banyen

“Today, like every other day, we wake up frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
 Take down a musical instrument. 
Let the beauty we love, be what we do. 
There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~ Rumi

The words of 13th century Sufi mystic Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (known popularly as Rumi) ring as true and deep today, as they did 700 years ago.

If Rumi is one of the best loved and most widely read poets in North America, then that is largely due to the efforts of American poet and interpreter Coleman Barks. Barks’ interpretations have sold more than half a million copies, and he has been the subject of a one-hour show on PBS with Bill Moyers. Barks is also credited with giving Americans a rare and nuanced view of Islam, at a time when the country’s relationship with the Islamic world is so fraught.

In a rare Vancouver appearance, Coleman Barks leads the audience on a journey through the life and works of Rumi. His recitations will be accompanied, as Sufi poetry often was and is, with music. On stage with Barks are a group of exceptional musicians. On the barbat (precursor to the Persian oud) is the foremost player of the instrument, Iranian musician Hossein Behroozinia. Behroozinia performed with Barks on his last Vancouver visit, almost a decade ago, to a sold-out audience at the Chan Centre. On sitar is maestro Mohamed Assani. The musicians will trace Rumi’s own life journey, by playing music from Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. This evening of divine poetry and music takes place in the stunning setting of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, doing justice to Rumi’s words – there are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

This event is part of Indian Summer, July 3-12, 2014, a festival of arts, ideas & diversity.