AcademicsExtended CampusLenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecture

Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecture:

Bill Porter

April 4th 2024 // Evening Lecture // Live Online & In-Person

Naropa University and the Creative Writing & Poetics department are honored to host author and translator
Bill Porter (Red Pine) as our Spring 2024 Lenz Distinguished Lecturer

Save the date for Porter’s exciting lecture, “Transcendence of the Mundane,” where he will explore the timeless wisdom of four Chinese poets, and his journey as a translator to echo their voices.

Bill Porter (Red Pine)

Transcendence of the Mundane

Bill Porter Headshot

About The Speaker

Bill Porter, known by his pen name Red Pine, publishes books dealing with Chinese culture and translations of its seminal texts.

Born in Van Nuys, California, Porter spent his formative years in Northern Idaho before serving in the US Army from 1964 to 1967. He pursued Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara before entering graduate school at Columbia University in 1970. Porter’s interest in Buddhism led him to a monastery in Taiwan in 1972, where he spent three years before embarking on a journey teaching English and working as a journalist in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Since 1993, he has resided in Port Townsend, Washington, and has dedicated himself to independent scholarship, translating Buddhist texts, and Chinese poetry. His works have garnered numerous awards, including NEA translation fellowships, a PEN translation award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation. More recently, in 2023, he was honored in Beijing with the Special Book Award of China.

About The Lecture

Embark on a poetic odyssey as Bill Porter shares the timeless wisdom of four Chinese poets whose verses resonate deeply with the essence of Dharma as it has journeyed to the West.

Learn about Cold Mountain (寒山), to whom Jack Kerouac dedicated his book Dharma Bums, and delve into the introspective musings of Stonehouse (石屋), whose Mountain Poems reveal the transformative power of solitude. Discover the rustic simplicity of Tao Yuanming (陶淵明), whose back-to-basics lifestyle influenced countless poets, and explore with the lyrical mastery of Xin Qiji (辛棄疾), whose genius, overshadowed by his warrior past, remains unparalleled. 

Porter will explore translations of these four Chinese poets over a millennium, delving into their lives, his initial attraction to their poetry, his journey as a translator to echo their voices, and their ability to convey the transcendent through everyday elements.

Don’t miss your chance to get to know these extraordinary voices and delve into the timeless wisdom of Chinese poetry.

Program Schedule & Cost

Evening Lecture

Thursday | April 4th 2024 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm Mountain Time

This program is offered in-person and live online via Zoom.

Livestream Registration

Standard Price: $15

Naropa Community Price: FREE

Naropa staff, faculty, students & alumnx:
Email to request a free registration code

In-Person Registration

Standard Price: $25

Naropa Community Price: FREE

Naropa staff, faculty, students & alumnx:
Email to request a free registration code

Brought To You By...

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism promotes the benefits of Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga, and related Buddhist practices in a manner complementary to modern American society. By developing and strengthening the emerging community of American Buddhist organizations, the Foundation seeks to give birth to an American society that reflects the universal Buddhist values of wisdom, compassion, mindfulness.

The annual Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values promotes diversity of thought and practice at Naropa by inviting distinguished guest lecturers from communities, traditions and scholarship related to Buddhism in America to supplement existing university expertise. Past Lenz Foundation Distinguished Lecturers at Naropa University have included Sharon Salzberg, Meredith Monk, Gary Snyder, and Joanna Macy.

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