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Online Poetry Series: The Refuge of Witnessing featuring Dane Cervine

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Join us in welcoming Dane Cervine to our online poetry series: The Refuge of Witnessing. Cervine’s recent books include Earth Is a Fickle Dancer (Main Street Rag), and The Gateless Gate – Polishing the Moon Sword, from Saddle Road Press in Hawaii, a cross-genre work of Zen koan & prose poems.

Previous poetry books include Kung Fu of the Dark Father, How Therapists Dance, The Jeweled Net of Indra, and What a Father Dreams. Dane’s poems have won awards from Adrienne Rich, Tony Hoagland, the Atlanta Review, Caesura, and been nominated for a Pushcart. His work appears in The SUN, the Hudson Review, TriQuarterly, Poetry Flash, Catamaran, Miramar, Rattle, Sycamore Review, Pedestal Magazine, among others. Visit his website at:

Dane Cervine lives in Santa Cruz, California, a small university town along the Monterey Bay coast just south of San Francisco. In addition to being a poet, Dane is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, and Emeritus Chief of Children’s Mental Health for the Santa Cruz County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Department. Dane is the father of two grown children–daughter Kelsey, who teaches AP History, and son Gabriel who is a spoken-word poet & activist. Dane’s wife Linda, directs an internal consulting firm at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dane received his BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1980, majoring in Religious Studies. This is where Dane first met Jack Engler, a visiting professor of Buddhism and Psychology, who inspired Dane’s subsequent study of Vipassana meditation and mindfulness practice. Dane went on to graduate school at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, receiving his MA in Integral Counseling Psychology in 1984, and his license as a Marriage & Family Therapist in 1985. CIIS offered a unique environment blending western psychology with eastern philosophy, which has shaped Dane’s career and interests ever since.

Dane is a Zen practitioner with the PACIFIC ZEN INSTITUTE community, which emphasizes lay practice integrated with the Arts in a contemporary cultural form. He also practices with INSIGHT SANTA CRUZ, and is a long-time mindfulness meditator in the Theravadin tradition.