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The Crumb Road has a rich, melancholy modesty, and to spend time with it enriches our attention. --Sean O'Brien, The Guardian
Maitreyabandhu's work beautifully, and seriously, contains the possibilities of what other traditions might call insight. --Fiona Sampson, Poetry Review
Maitreyabandhu's poetry opens vistas. Reading his work is an unusual pleasure. He is a poet of journeys great and small - and the reader is privileged to be his companion. --Carol Rumens
Maitreyabandhu was born Ian Johnson in 1961, in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. His parents ran a coach firm on the High Street. Initially trained as a nurse at the Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry, he went on to study fine art at Goldsmiths College, London, alongside Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst.
He started attending classes at the London Buddhist Centre (LBC) in 1986, and moved into a residential community above the LBC in 1987. He was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1990 and given the name Maitreyabandhu. Since then he has lived and worked at the LBC, teaching Buddhism and meditation. He has written two books on Buddhism, Thicker than Blood: Friendship on the Buddhist Path (2001) and Life with Full Attention: a Practical Course in Mindfulness (2009), both with Windhorse Publications. His forthcoming book, The Journey and the Guide, also with Windhorse, is due in 2014. In 2010 he founded Poetry East, a poetry venue exploring the relationship between spiritual life and poetry, and attracting many of Britain's foremost poets, including Jo Shapcott, David Constantine, Don Paterson and Sean O'Brien.
Maitreyabandhu has won the Keats-Shelley Prize, the Basil Bunting Award, the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and the Ledbury Festival Poetry Competition. His first pamphlet The Bond won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition (2010) and was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. Vita Brevis, his second pamphlet, won the iOTA Shots Award (2011). His first book-length collection, The Crumb Road, is published by Bloodaxe in 2013 and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He has published articles exploring the relationship between spiritual life and poetry in Poetry Review, Magma, Agenda, Assent, and In Their Own Words: Contemporary Poets on their Poetry (Salt, 2012). His poems have been anthologised in both the UK and USA.