SUTRA PRESS announces the release of Brendan Walsh’s chapbook, Buddha vs. Bonobo.

The chapbook marks the inaugural release from the emergent publisher, which was founded only several months ago to publish emerging writers that hunger for truth and chapbooks that change our lives and wake us up.

In Buddha vs. Bonobo, Walsh establishes a happy medium between body and spirit, human and bonobo, nature and civilization. Guided by humor, animal practicality, and the omnipresent questions of existence, this collection seeks answers through imagining what humans lost by leaving the Congo River Basin millions of years ago.

Through his patient, compassionate, and attentive verse, Walsh reveals that we have much to learn from bonobos, who live in a peaceful matriarchal society in which war is nonexistent.

Sample excerpt from Buddha vs. Bonobo:

Count the fruit trees, take twelve months, measure rain—
four million. Sixty-one inches. Divide
ants by species of tree-dwelling rodents.
The canopy inhales measures of light;
we sleep the hours between sun and black.

You ask the deepest question of sums:
how many have we loved? How many mouths,
how many bodies, how many partners?
We answer: we descend from forty fathers,
one mother, from them we loved each other,
so too our babies tied one string from dirt

to crotch to one relentless sky. Only one.

“As I wrote Buddha vs. Bonobo, I was trying to come to terms with a spiritual crisis—I had to balance my inherent ape-self that hungers recklessly with my idealized version of Buddhism that repels carnal desire. How does one love as well as extract from two disparate philosophies? Buddhism says that all existence is suffering, yet bonobos appear to want, obtain, and remain relatively peaceful and happy.”
—Brendan Walsh

Brendan Walsh received his MFA from Southern Connecticute State University, and he currently resides in Florida. In 2013, Walsh received a Fulbright award to teach English in Laos. His poems have recently appeared in Glass Poetry, Wisconsin Review, Elsewhere, Coldnoon, and Mudfish.

Buddha vs. Bonobo is scheduled to be released early September.

Buddha vs. Bonobo is now available for purchase at our online store at: Limited edition saddle-stitched, 40 pp., ISBN 978-0-9991518-0-8. For more information, email us at

“We don’t think it makes sense. We dream of our cousins in trees…” That’s what Brendan Walsh does in this provocative collection of brief poems. He dreams of bonobos as natural sages—unlike the Buddha, their “legs just fold that way”—who share their wisdom with the ever-restless humans (“our world’s torment”). In the second part of the volume, Walsh’s dreams extend beyond bonobos to people whose uncommon lives lead to alternative takes on fundamental issues: a monk who has seen it all, a cult member (“Consider, though, one stretch … without thought, questions”), ancient wanderers turning experience into myth, a Jain starving himself to death, and more. Welcome surprises, and possible truths, abound.
—Tracy Duvall, Bonobo!