Poet David Whyte grew up among the hills and valleys of Yorkshire, England. The author of four books of poetry, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many American and international companies. He holds a degree in Marine Zoology, and has traveled extensively, including working as a naturalist guide and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest.
Readers who accept poet and Fortune 500 consultant Whyte's invitation to enter into "an imaginative conversation about life and work" are likely to be challenged as well as delighted by the beauty of his writing and the expansiveness of his views. Gracefully using the metaphor of a sea voyage to depict the journey through the world of work, Whyte views work not only as a means of support, but as a means for interacting with the world and developing self-expression and identity. While he draws on the philosophical underpinnings of the self-help movement aimed at finding one's "inner compass," Whyte doesn't offer the step-by-step pragmatism of other books. Instead, his approach is subtler and more organic, presenting an abundance of provocative ideas, especially on one's relationship with time and daily ritual, on the importance of dignity and ethics and on honoring the labor of one's ancestors. Interwoven with and undergirding Whyte's philosophy are passages of memoir, detailing his unique experiences as a naturalist in the Gal pagos Islands, for example, together with poetic references from Whitman, Spender, Dickinson, Rilke, Wordsworth and Whyte's own works. Even Whyte's friends are wise, as evidenced by a monk who tells him that the antidote to exhaustion is not rest but "wholeheartedness." Thoughtful readers will wholeheartedly savor this book. Agent, Ned Leavitt. (Apr. 2) Forecast: Whyte established a core audience with the much-praised The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America and through his business seminars on creativity. A six-city author tour, selection by the One Spirit Book Club and a recent excerpt in Oprah's magazine mark this as a title to watch. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
In the midst of all the arid, bullet point-ridden business books, Whyte's stands out with its languid I'll-get-to-the-point-when-I'm-damned-good-and-ready approach. A poet, corporate trainer, and author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Whyte challenges readers to remember their childhood interests and enthusiasms. He claims that this is necessary in order to escape the deadening influences of adult "musts" and "shoulds" and to recapture the passion that one needs to do good work. Whyte discusses his own career changes, from naturalist to nonprofit executive to writer/presenter/coacher. Echoing Fortgang, his main point is the popular "Do what you love and the money will follow," but he personalizes it by telling his own story and by including snippets of focused poetry (his own and others'), so that it's not as hackneyed as it may sound. Because an excerpt appeared in the March 2001 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine, there's sure to be demand in public libraries. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Readers who accept poet and Fortune 500 consultant Whyte's invitation to enter into 'an imaginative conversation about life and work' are likely to be challenged as well as delighted by the beauty of his writing and the expansiveness of his views. Gracefully using the metaphor of a sea voyage to depict the journey through the world of work, Whyte views work not only as a means of support, but as a means for interacting with the world and developing self-expression and identity... An abundance of provocative ideas...thoughtful readers will wholeheartedly savor this book."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Crossing the Unknown Sea is like a grail that reconfers dignity to what has been demeaned by our preoccupation with monetary wealth."--Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce
"Managers might do well to ditch wishy-washy motivational speakers and instead hire the fiery David Whyte to stir creativity and imagination in their employees."--USA Today
"Keep this beautiful book with you and you will discover, as I have, a still point amid our slightly mad world."--Peter Senge, author of the The Fifth Discipline and coauthor of Schools That Learn