NC Literary Hall of Fame



Four Gates to the Mountain by John A. Blackard

Freedomlawn Independent Publications
$20.00, paperback / $40.00, hand-bound, limited edition
ISBN: 978-1-387-77988-8
April, 2018
Available from your local bookstore or

“Get rid of all that is unnecessary. Wabi-sabi means treading lightly on the planet and knowing how to appreciate whatever is encountered, no matter how trifling, whenever it is encountered.”
—Leonard Koren

“Ecopoetry exercises our environmental imaginations, it enlarges our ethical spheres, and it engenders empathic bonds with what’s beyond our human egos.”
—Ann Fisher-Wirth

Spending time in forests—there's a growing body of evidence that the practice can help boost immunity and mood and help reduce stress.

"Medical researchers in Japan have studied forest bathing and have demonstrated several benefits to our health," says Philip Barr, a physician who specializes in integrative medicine at Duke University.

Four Gates to the Mountain is John A. Blackard’s fifth collection of poems. Season by season in fifty-two poems and fourteen photos, John describes living in the Swannanoa Mountains near Asheville. An admirer of Japanese nature poetry, Gary Snyder, and American ecopoetry, John has created a poetry of place unique to Western North Carolina.

This book is a collection of meditative poems that explore seasonal changes on a mountain in North Carolina.

John Blackard is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with advanced degrees in English Studies and Library Information Studies. He has five books of poems in print, a children's book, and a reference book for book collectors. He has received Fulbright Memorial Fund and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. John lives in Fairview.

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