Village Lights Poetry Nights


Open sign-up; open mic. Everyone is invited to participate. Read your own work or that of a favorite poet. Readers are welcome to draw from our shelves. MC for Village Lights Poetry Nights is established Madison poet, Jill Kelly Koren. We are pleased to feature guest poet Dane Cervine, who will be reading from and signing his books, The Gateless Gate and Polishing the Moon Sword and What a Father Dreams, as well as several of his earlier titles.



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, he 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 and Substance Abuse Department. He is the father of two grown children--daughter Kelsey, who teaches AP History, and son Gabriel, who is a spoken-word poet and activist. His 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, majoring in Religious Studies. That is where he 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 an MA in Integral Counseling Psychology and his license as a Marriage and Family Therapist. CIIS offered a unique environment blending western psychology with eastern philosophy, which has shaped his career and interests ever since.

Dane is also a Zen practitioner with the Pacific Zen Institute community, which emphasizes lay practice integrated with the arts in a contemporary cultural form.


The Gateless Gate and Polishing the Moon Sword is a collection of poems inspired by Zen and Japanese folk traditions. The first section, The Gateless Gate, contains poem-responses to the 48 Zen koans of the Mumonkan, following a long Zen tradition of composing poems as a spontaneous, personal response to koans.

What A Father Dreams: Poems of Family, Love, & Aging presents poems that trace the author’s experience as a father through the wonder and travails of raising two children—from budding adolescence back to the early days of birth. In addition, there are poems celebrating the intricacies for parents of love, sex, the losing and finding of each other repeatedly through the exhausting, but ultimately fulfilling course of family life. Finally, there are poems contemplating aging parents, including death and the discovery of self late in life.



Event date: 
Friday, August 23, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
110 East Main Street
Madison, IN 47250