As you may know by now, your friendly-neighborhood Splabman traveled with his bride-to-be to Brussels in Belguim (& day-tripped to Paris & Bruges) for the Tools of the Sacred conference.

Brussels photos are linked here.
The essay I wrote for the conference is here.
The powerpoint I created for my Brussels presentation is here.

Meeting Gillian Parrish (Washington University, St. Louis), and witnessing her presentation: “This Cunning World Made Flat: The Practiced Gaze of Bone Pagoda and Buddhist Tantra” was a highlight.

I enjoyed Lyn McCredden‘s:
“Sacred and Secular in Australian Poetry”

as well as Peter Cockelburgh, whose presentation on Pierre Joris was quite interesting. Peter is a Belgian and struck me as a quintessential European, with his mastery of three languages and ability to move seamlessly between them. That aids his Joris research.

and enjoyed meeting Loren Schwartz of York University in Toronto, Michael Heller the Oppen scholar, Trevor Carolan of Vancouver, BC (& the Pacific Rim Review of Books) and the conference organizer and all-around generous and gracious host, Franca Bellarsi. She said the next conference is in 2013 and will be Biofilia and Biophobia.

I did a reading with Peter Cockelburgh and four other writers, Jay Ramsay, the very funny Paul McDonald and Seamus Cashman of the Black Earth Institute.

I’d welcome your feedback on the powerpoint and the essay.